Non-Consumer Photo Essay — Banks, Breads and Buffets

by Katy on February 6, 2013 · 28 comments

Targeted Savings, Ceramic Style

Collage of banks

Yes, gimmicky savings banks are a thing. And yes, people donate them to Goodwill faster than Usain Bolt being chased by a swarm of bees.

And by the way, I took all of these pictures myself. Not one is from an image search. I swear they mate during Goodwill off hours.

Wonky Bread


Handmade is almost always yummier, but sometimes it’s, well . . .  less attractive. Like when I completely misjudge the length of my pan. Luckily, it’s no big deal to curve the end of a loaf, even though it makes the bread look phallic like those huge underground worms from the movie Tremors. (Remember it? I had Reba McIntyre and Kevin Bacon!)

Still delicious though.

Built-in Beauty

Remember my Before, No After built-in buffet? Here’s a reminder:

Built-in before

Well here’s how the built-in/hutch/breakfront looks today:

Built-in during

We still need to put a finish on the wood, but the hard work is done. And we are sooooo happy with the result. And before you get any kind of impressed with our DIY project, you need to know that my brother-in-law Jason built it.

We just wrote the check.

I could get used to this whole paying others to fix up my house thing. Must be how the rest of America feels.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Tami February 6, 2013 at 9:51 am

That buffet looks terrific! If Jason worked in Seattle…..


Carolyn February 6, 2013 at 9:52 am

The built in looks great! Now you need to find yourself some fancier drawer pulls. Isn’t that how home improvement goes? Fix one thing, find another?


Katy February 6, 2013 at 9:55 am

No, the drawer pulls are great. They’re “new old stock” from a closed down hardware store and gorgeous in person. I bought them on eBay a million years ago, and are perfect for our 1914 craftsman house.



Daisy February 6, 2013 at 10:16 am

I’d be all giddy every time I looked that that gorgeous thing! Nothing like having a long overdue project DONE!


Sherry February 6, 2013 at 10:20 am

Beautiful work on the buffet….and the bread looks yummy no matter what the shape.


Katy February 6, 2013 at 10:23 am

One loaf was used for pulled pork sandwiches last night, and the other loaf got 100% eaten by my ravenous teenage sons.



Sue February 6, 2013 at 11:03 am

Ah, the joy of paying someone else to do the work. We hire for the weeding and mowing of our almost 1 acre lot, but do most of the painting and smaller jobs ourselves. I can’t tell you how often I’ve taken to cursing my late father , a very handy and frugal man, when crawling around on my hands and knees installing baseboards or climbing up and down a ladder painting. If he had hired out I could probably do so guilt free.


Beth February 6, 2013 at 11:14 am

The built in looks fantastic!!


Maureen February 6, 2013 at 12:27 pm

Well, like everyone, I agree that the built in is beautiful!!!! Please remember to show us pictures of when it’s all 100% done. I can’t wait to see it all stained and finished.

Teenage boys will eat anything, no matter how it looks, when they are hungry. Glad that it didn’t go to waste!

But the banks made me laugh. And we all need a laugh!


Kristen | The Frugal Girl February 6, 2013 at 1:31 pm

Oh, niiice! How lovely to have the built-in construction done.


Katy February 6, 2013 at 6:50 pm

It is great, although I’m paranoid that one (or all) of us will swipe a greasy hand across the bare wood. I want the finish on like yesterday!



canuck66 February 6, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Very nice. Good to see something restored to its former beauty.


Heather February 6, 2013 at 2:53 pm

It is absolutely beautiful! For a project like that, you probably could have done something yourself and it would have been… meh. Sometimes it’s worth it to spend some money for a true expert and end up with a result that is WOW!


Renee CA February 6, 2013 at 6:20 pm

We were going to tackle a wood flooring project in our house but due to time constraints, bit the bullet and hired someone. After watching how they laid the floor my husband realized that there was a steep learning curve and we are so glad we didn’t tackle it ourselves (and he is a retired custom home builder!). We have a beautiful professional floor done in a little over two days. It was worth every penny.


Lisa Brooks February 6, 2013 at 3:37 pm

I have learned that there are times it is more frugal to hire out work. The work gets done quickly and by someone who is skilled (if you have chosen the right person) and can do the work correctly the first time. Additionally, you have provided income for that person and are a blessing to his family. Celebrate it!


annW February 6, 2013 at 4:45 pm

beautiful! worth every penny.


rosarugosa February 6, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Heather said it perfectly. Sometimes it is smarter to hire talent, and this was clearly one if those times. I love the drawer pulls too!
You’ll enjoy it all the more for having waited so long. I’ll bet you’ll feel happy every time you look at this beautiful workmanship for as long as you own your home! 🙂


Yvette February 6, 2013 at 6:15 pm

The bread and buffet are beautiful. It helps when the trades person is related. It took me almost a year of calling and no-shows before I found someone to redo the roof. Both of us are bad with heights.


Hannah H. February 6, 2013 at 10:32 pm

That build in looks AMAZING! Congrats on having such a big thing checked off your to-do list!

I have a little change jar, though I like to think it’s not nearly as ugly as some of those other ones. Yikes.


Katy February 6, 2013 at 10:35 pm

So ugly, so very ugly.




dusty February 7, 2013 at 4:16 am

congrats, the buffet looks great. Now you’re getting the idea, the older you get, you’ll be writing alot more checks for people to do things for you.


patti February 7, 2013 at 10:04 am

I know what writing that check is like… we just hired a professional to install fencing that probably could have been done by us (it only covered about 8 feet) I had been wanting this fence for FIFTEEN years and in January decided to pick up the telephone. Bam! Done in one day.
Why do we think we can do it all??? Now I did turn down the guy who wants $30 an hour to wash my windows. My hubby and I are going to tackle those one window at a time this Spring. Choices, choices, choices.


Kailey February 7, 2013 at 10:20 am

I love the movie Tremors! My brother and I used to watch it every day after school, we could recite the whole thing.
Luckily your homemade baguettes look a lot more appetizing then those worms!


Cheapchick February 7, 2013 at 10:08 pm

I saw one of those retirement savings Granny’s today at the thrift store. The buffet looks great!


Bethany@OurSoCalledLife February 8, 2013 at 3:47 am

We were given one of those banks once, and guess where it ended up…

That bread just made me laugh! I’ll be it was delicious though.


Katie February 8, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Gorgeous! Bro-in-law does lovely work. You’ll have to post another pic when the finish is on! I am pretty sure that a picture of this same cabinet was one of the first things I pinned on Pinterest. I just love the colors of your dishes through the faceted glass.


Katy February 8, 2013 at 3:08 pm

I figured out a long time ago that the important thing when arranging my Fiestaware is to group like colors. Otherwise, it’s just a visual humble-jumble.



Jean February 8, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Your china cabinet is beautiful, and I love your Fiestaware inside! It was definitely worth paying someone skilled and experienced to do this. It looks like it was always part of your house. (My first husband was one of those guys too cheap to pay anyone for their skills, but I can’t tell you how often it backfired when a repair person said to me “Your husband tried to fix this, didn’t he? There’s an extra fee for that.”)
I guess I need to check out my local Goodwill–we are actually looking for one of those swear jar banks for use in my husband’s business!


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