Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I have an announcement.

I'm dropping in for a rare mid-week post today because this news is too exciting to hold in until next Sunday:

I'm going to be featured in West Elm!!!! WEST ELM. As in, the West Elm.

Back in May I was contacted by the marketing folks at Etsy who were working with West Elm to find handmade pieces for their 2011 Holiday Catalog. West Elm spotted my shop and asked me to send them some of my items to be photographed. It wasn't guaranteed at that point because anything can happen during the editing process, but they just confirmed to me that my print made the final cut, so now I can finally share the news!

I sent them several of my city maps and I'm not sure exactly which one was featured, but I can't wait to find out! I'll also be featured on their website and in their Etsy profile as a featured seller. The holiday catalog hits stores October 4th... I'll be anxiously/excitedly/impatiently waiting until then to get my copy! And of course, I'll post everything to the blog once it's in my hands.

Ok, back to work! Just had to share :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Guest Bath Reveal, Old Window Frame & Giveaway

First order of business: The "final" guest bath reveal!

Last week Brad installed a dimmer switch for some much needed mood lighting control. At that point we were 95% completed last weekend, so this weekend all that needed to be done was hanging art, finishing the recessed cubby, and swapping out the knobs on the vanity.

I knew I wanted to add a shelf to the cubby for extra storage, so we went to Lowe's to get a piece of glass cut to size (FYI, our local Home Depot said they don't cut glass—just a heads up to anyone wondering).

So we came back with our shelf and a few plastic mirror hangers to prop it up. They broke as soon as the screw tightened, so those were out. Brad suggested we just use the bare screws and paint them white.

And so I did. And it worked excellently.

Next up was accessorizing (the funnest part, of course). I went to Hobby Lobby, for the first time in my life, on Friday evening and it was a similar experience to my first time at Garden Ridge.... pretty close to heaven. I don't know how I managed to go 26 years without stepping foot into one, but now that I know I live 5 miles from one, it's going to get dangerous.

Luckily, everything I purchased was 50% off so I scored some amazing deals. Like these mason jars for just 75 cents each!

To help them coordinate better with the rest of the finishes in the bathroom, I whipped out the ORB and gave the lids a new look:

Much better!

I fell in love with these brownish-grey tinted glass knobs, $4 for both (after 50% off)

Finally, I framed a couple of my prints in Ikea frames I had leftover and hung them above the loo:

Prints can be purchased in any size here

A couple more finishing touches and the bathroom is D-O-N-E! (Until we tackle what's behind the shower curtain.... just pretend that part doesn't exist for now)

Let's get a quick before & after shot to make it more official.



And there you have it! And since I actually remembered to record most of this, here is a rough price breakdown:

Toilet - 125
Vanity/Mirror - 177
Baseboards - 17
Faucet - 55
Vanity light - 110
Dimmer switch - 20
Bead board/trim & supplies - 100
Trash can & paint - 22
Oil rubbed bronze hardware - 37
Recessed cabinet trim, lighting & glass shelf - 30
Accessories (standing mirror, mason jars, knobs, soap dispenser) - 30
Paint - already had
Art - made/already had

The only thing left off this list was tile and installation... because we don't have an exact figure since it was quoted with and installed at the same time as the foyer and kitchen. If I have to guesstimate based on square footage and tile/labor cost... I'll go with $80 for tile (27 sq. ft @ $3/sf tile), and another 150 for labor. That sounds about right. So,

Tile - 230

Grand total: $950, give or take a few. So it's safe to say it cost under a grand for this:

Not too bad, right? Stay tuned for the shower re-do... coming soon. Or maybe not.

In other news, I was browsing Craigslist and found someone selling an old window pane (no glass) near my work and decided to stop by to check it out. He said it was from some 150 year old house in Pennsylvania and belonged to his mother who passed away. I thought it was perfect, and walked away with it for just $12! Happy Dance.

Here it is at home, waiting to be prepped:

It was painted a light beige, but there were layers of paint underneath it from years of use.

I took out our new electric sander and got to work. We picked up this sander a couple weeks ago at a yard sale for just $10.... best $10 EVER, let me tell you. It took about 15 minutes to turn years of paint to this:

Can you imagine if I tried to do that by hand? It would take weeks. Everyone go buy one of these, now.

After it was sanded with heavy grit, I put a finer sheet of sandpaper on to smooth the surface a bit. Then I brushed on a coat of turquoise, let it dry, and then put a coat of white on. Sorry, no pics of this process...  I was working on like 5 things at once and had no time!

After both paint colors dried, I went over it with the fine sandpaper to get some of the turquoise, wood, and original paint colors to show through. Here's the final product:

I know, it's hard to see the detail with this crap lens. Working on getting a better one!

To hang it, I picked up a french cleat, which is my absolute favorite way to hang heavier pieces. I used it on my dining room mirror and it was the simplest thing ever. This time was no exception.

And the window now lives happily on this previously empty bedroom wall:

I may dress it up later with hooks or something... but for now it can just sit there and look pretty :)

And finally... I made a small update to our living room. See if you can spot the difference.


Yes... Mr Octopus and Miss Seahorse are no longer with us. They have been replaced with this:

These are bus rolls I made of all the special places in our lives...places we've lived, visited, special vacations, etc. It was time for a change.

As for these guys....

Well, it's time for them to move on to become part of someone else's family. Therefore, I'm going to give them a second chance at life in one of your homes.

Here's the technical specs: the prints are 11.5x11.5" (shown here in Ikea's Virserum frames, also fits in Ribba).

They are from my Ocean Animal Collection, valued at $20/ea.

All you need to do is leave a comment on the blog if you're interested in adopting them, and next Sunday (9/4) I'll randomly choose a winner and ship the prints right away. Sound good?

To make it interesting... tell me what your favorite project has been so far from this blog. It can be something as big as the bathroom reno we just did, or as small as painting all our handles ORB. I'd love to hear what inspires you most.

And with that, I'm off to get some work done in the shop... be sure to check back Sunday to see if there's an octopus and seahorse with your name on it :)


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Guest Bath: Almost there

I'm back with another installment of the Guest Bath Remodel series... and we're just about there! If you can remember back to a week ago, we left with the bathroom looking like this:

Most of the beardbord was done, the vanity was in place, and the room was repainted.

Brad finished up a lot of it during the week, so by Saturday the room was looking like this:

Here's a couple shots of the installed vanity light (from Home Depot):

I placed an order for this oil rubbed bronze set on Ebay (minus the robe hook)

And I picked up this soap dispenser ($7 at Target)

Everything was coming together nicely... but there was one glaring eyesore. Let me remind you of this picture again... can you see it?

If you guessed the medicine cabinet, you were right!

I've always dreamed of a recessed storage nook... recessed + storage are two of my favorite things. So I convinced Brad to rip it out and see what was underneath.

It was better than I thought...

A nice square box ready to be finished!

I had originally pictured smooth, seamless drywall with a dividing shelf in the middle, but we are nowhere near that skill level to make something like that look acceptable. So we headed to the garage...

The solution was right there in our discarded wood pile.

Leftover beadboard! Love it.

So we headed to Home Depot to get the rest of the supplies. The most important supply was a tool we were missing: a skill saw to make the cuts. So we paid the $40 and got one, finally (it's not like we'll never use it again!)

We also picked up some trim to frame it out, and decided it would be neat to recess a light in the top for extra bathroom luminance...

We got to work right away, starting with the back piece:

We measured perfectly and it went right in on the first try (whew!)

We built the light assembly next (which required some creativity since we drilled the hole too big...)

Brad ran the wiring after the top piece was secured:

Then we secured the side pieces and trim...

And here it is, all nailed and framed...

See those broken pieces of wood sitting on the bottom shelf?

This is why....

This box was seriously crooked.

But after the bottom trim piece went on and provided support, we coated the bottom of a 1x5" board with liquid nails, set it on top and caulked it in. Good to go.

Happy Dance! We are so going to do this in our master bath when the time comes (it has the cabinet). This project cost us under $80 (saw included... so $40, really).

See that new ORB fixture peeking out from underneath it?

Hello, $11 towel holder.

And matching towel rod.

And toilet paper holder.

Here's a shot of the whole corner... cause it's all I could fit in this lens.

Note to persons named Brad reading this... wide angle lens = all I want for Christmas. Start saving.

I still need to hang art on the walls, and we're going to place a glass shelf in the storage cubby and pack it with some bathroom necessities. The "grand finale reveal" will come next week!

I had time to squeeze in one more project... a new trash can. This is normally a boring/easy purchase, but I had an idea in my head and this was the perfect chance to execute it.

Have you seen this cute bucket from Urban Outfitters?

Cute, right? I wanted one. But this one was a bit too big, and I thought I could make my own for a bit less $. So I found this on amazon:

Yep... that will work.

I picked up a $2 paint tester at HD in a muted green:

And got to work designing the perfect "TRASH" sign. The typeface "Clarendon" did the trick.

I printed it out on paper with a sticky back...

and carefully traced the letters with an X-acto knife.

Unfortunately, my blade was on the dull side, and a sharp one would have made the process much easier.

Once it was cut out, I peeled the backing off and applied it to the can:

Then I lightly sponge painted over my stencil.

The paper started bubbling up when I did this... which scared me.

And it was not good.

However, I found that all I needed was the edge of my nail and the excess paint scraped right off. So I took a few minutes to clean up the letters, and it had a much better look:

And here is the trash can in its new home:

I like it! What do you think?

Okay, last but not least... we have a new foyer light!

Remember how I had ordered this last week from Overstock?

It came exactly as described and I love it!

Here is the newest most recent foyer shot (there will be a few more of these before we're completely done)

Lights on:

I like the rustic vibe. Our house needs more of that. One piece at a time...

Alright, there's a bbq burger with my name on it. Time to go... be back next week with the final bathroom reveal and another surprise or two!