Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Love + Wreath

Today I am thankful.

The windows are open, a cool breeze drifting through the house, cider mulling on the stove, holiday candles burning, sweet kitty in my lap, classic jazz on Pandora. Today is good. Life is good.

I can't put into words how grateful I am to be where I am today. Just a year ago we were still unpacking, and while I'm still 3000 miles away from family and missing them like crazy, today it feels like home.

In the spirit of the season, I've made my first holiday-ish project.

Remember these?

They turned into this:

I spotted this wreath online a couple weeks ago and had to have it. I was aching for a crafty project, and this fit the bill.

It took a few nights to complete, but it was worth it (as long as it doesn't get destroyed by the rain!)

There are lots of blogs with tutorials, but the easiest explanation on how to make the roses was from here.

Once they were made, I needed to find my wreath base.

I ran to Michaels to pick up a foam wreath... but they were all small and squared off, like this:

So I headed to Hobby Lobby... and it was the same thing. Then I spotted this hay wreath in a pile of leftover halloween/fall items...

It was round, larger, and just $5 compared to $12 for the foam one. Score.

I wrapped it in the same old book pages as the roses for my base...

And proceeded to glue all my paper roses... for hours. Sorry, no pics of this process... hard to arrange and snap pics with one hand before the hot glue dries.

In the end, I had this:

I picked up some $3 ribbon to hang the wreath from, and added a bow:

Ta-da! $8 wreath.

Time to tend to some drinks & appetizers... but first, I'm giving some love back to my customers who helped me make it this far. Someone will win a free print by leaving a comment on my facebook page.

Have a warm, happy, thankful day.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Master Bath Reno: Week 4

This week's reveal isn't going to be nearly as exciting as last week's, I'll spare you the suspense.

However, we finally made the last big decision for the bathroom: we're not ripping out the shower. Instead, we've decided to go ahead and have it reglazed. We figured we'd also reglaze the guest tub/shower while we were at it. It's going to run us around $1200 for both rooms, but that's a whole lot cheaper than demolishing and rebuilding a new fancy shower.

The tile is pretty new and in good condition, so a nice glossy white coat will make us happy.

Of course, we'll be replacing the fixtures with some updated oil rubbed bronze ones so it matches the rest of the bathroom. We've got more important things to save for, so I think it was a decision well made.

Now that that's out of the way... I have a handle update.

We knew we didn't want handles in a finish that didn't match the ORB, but black handles on a black vanity were just too much... so it was time to think outside of the box. Since I wanted to incorporate somewhat of a nautical/oceany feel, I immediately thought of rope. I love those little rope knot pulls that can double as door pulls...

 However, our doors have two holes for screws so that wasn't going to work. I had to get creative.

First, I ordered a set of standard stainless steel handles, and spray painted them ORB:

Then, I grabbed some twine and hot glue....

And got to work.

Until I had seven of these:

Here they are installed:

To be honest.. I'm not sure how I feel about them. I like how they match the baskets underneath. But I think they are just a bit... too much. Brad isn't a fan either. I have a Plan B in mind though, which I'll try to get to this week.

Moving along... I had my best Michael's experience ever today.

I was dreaming about what to put in this cubby hole to store necessities (toothbrushes, toothpaste, q-tips, etc)...

After giving it a lot of thought, I decided I needed the perfect size square white ceramic vases. Three of them (two on the bottom, and one on top on a shelf we would build). I spent forever googling to no avail and started thinking of what I'd have to settle for.

And then.... today... I walked into Michaels, and came face to face with these:

The white ceramic Gods have answered my prayers! These could not have been more perfect. They are the *exact* size, down to the millimeter, that I need, there's THREE of them, and they were on sale! $15 for the trio. I've never been so lucky.

Soon we'll install that shelf and the cubby hole will be complete. And so will my life.

Switching gears for a minute....

I have my very first art show on Dec 1st. Then I have 2 more that same week. That means it's time to get down to business and build myself a booth.

I won't go too much into detail, but this setup has required a lot of thought and research. Today we finally started putting it all together. Here's what the skeleton looks like:

Try to ignore all the mess in the background. We secured PVC into cement, built this 9 foot tall contraption from which my prints will hang, and secured it into two 4' tables.

I picked up these crates from Michaels at $13/ea...

Which will store my prints. I'll end up painting them white I'm sure.

I still need to pick out some fun fabric to drape over the table... and then of course finish all the prep work that goes into this. A new and exciting project... can't wait to see how it turns out!

Oh, and while we were in Home Depot picking up the pvc pipe... Brad decided we needed these:

Truthfully... we didn't need them. But they were on sale, and they were shiny, and I guess Brad couldn't resist. They were on sale for $599 each with free delivery, plus we had a 10% off coupon, making our grand total $1100.

Today we sold these guys for $200 for the set:

So we're basically out $900 for a brand new steam washer/dryer set. Not too shabby!

The bathroom refinishers are coming Wednesday, so our bathroom will be 95% done by Thanksgiving (almost made our goal!) Just have to add the finishing touches, and then I'll be back with the full reveal :)

I'm also working on a fun little project in the meantime.... here's a hint:

I'll post as soon as its finished :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Master Bath Reno: Week 3

We're back with another installment of the master bath makeover extravaganza! We made some big strides this week.

Quick recap of where we were just 6 days ago... (I actually had to just double check the last time I posted because it felt like way more than 6 days ago!)

And then this happened....

Hold on. Can I just preface any opinions you are forming right now with this: This tile looks WAY louder in pictures. It's not busy or crazy looking in person... it's pretty subtle actually, and honestly I am still quite breathtaken whenever I walk in the room. And you should know by now I am the most un-crazy-risky-loud decor person when it comes to this type of thing, so I speak the truth about this tile.

It makes the room. I'm in love with it.

And again in the shower...

My favorite lights in the whole world happened...

Some oil rubbed bronze faucet and plumbing happened...

Apparently Mercedes makes sinks now

This new *white* toilet happened:

Ignore the gross yellow lighting and SLR kit lens... ugh

It was not all good things happening, however.

I was about to make a Home Depot run for trim to frame in these mirrors, taking the mirror measurements, when I realized something...

Due to the nature of the way these mirrors are hung, they do not sit entirely flat against the wall at the top (they are hung on screws with brackets). So, if I simply glued some pieces of wood on top of the mirror... there would be an even larger gap where it does not sit flush against the wall. And that would look strange.

I did some research and determined we needed wood with a "rabbeted" edge, like so:

Unfortunately, we are not in possession of such tool to create these edges. Ugh. Fail.

I'm unsure if the hardware store would have some pre-rabbet edged wood pieces... anyone know? Guess I'll cross my fingers and check next time I am there.

But until then, the mirrors will remain frameless. Not my favorite look, to be honest.

While we are on the subject of pesky first world problems, as you can tell my vanity is still black. Maybe if I write this smaller no one will read this and notice and this will all just go away. But seriously... I begged Brad to let me try and make it browner but he refused and wouldn't budge and I decided it wasn't worth causing a rift in our marriage. So I will learn to live with it... or just close my eyes everytime I walk in there.

You win some, you lose some.

Back to happy things.

I got some baskets.

Yes, that is a light underneath the vanity. LED rope lighting, or if you prefer,
a blue nightlight with a picture of a galaxy. Brad did it.

I was so excited to have a floating vanity so I could put one of my top favorite 5 things ever underneath them. And fill them with pretty white things, like towels and toilet paper. I also store my hairdryer and curling iron in one (it's hidden towards the back). I'm so excited to organize this bathroom!

I was actually at Target a few hours ago picking out drawer organizers and baskets for the cabinets. As soon as I'm done with this post I'll be transferring all of my junk back over to the new bathroom, and decluttering/reorganizing in the process. Now that is my kind of Sunday night!

Oh... and before you stare at those silver vanity handles in disgust too long... no, they are not staying.

We quickly realized that silver and ORB do not mesh well.

But what were our options? ORB handles? Black on black... meh, no thanks. White handles? Possibly... but that might be a little too much black and white for me. So I'm getting creative.

Not giving it away entirely yet... but here is a hint if you can remember back to a few months ago:

I have no idea how this is going to turn out, but I'll be sure to report back with results!

Here is another issue we are having.... we did this reno completely backwards. I'm not sure how the shower took the backburner, but it is now a huge eyesore in the room.

It's the glowing yellow room of terror! It needs to be addressed. Originally we were thinking we'd just reglaze it, but then we were quoted $600 and maybe that's not the best option afterall. However, we're not exactly looking forward to ripping out that entire room (which means new drywall, having to repaint, possibly rip out the step that is so beautifully tiled now)... and also potentially revealing any hidden issues. Then, of course, there's the cost of everything.

I'm going to get some estimates this week, and we'll weigh our options and make our decision at that point. But either way, SOMEthing has to happen. I cannot live with almond tile any longer!

Lots of goodies coming in this week... the bathroom is far from over. Here's what's left on the list:

1. New vanity handles
2. Accessories (ORB towel and paper towel holders, robe hooks, wastebasket, soap dispensers/jars/visible storage)
3. Shelving above the toilet
4. Wall art(?)
5. Mirror frames (hopefully)
6. Recessed box shelving/storage
7. Recessed lighting in the shower room & closet
8. Figure out the entire shower!

We may or may not make my initial deadline of Thanksgiving... it all depends on if we decide to rip out that shower or not.

Stay tuned... who knows what this place will look like next week :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Master Bath Reno: Week 2

We're currently in the middle of night of painting #2, so I'll make this update brief.

When I left off last week, the bathroom had been stripped of carpet and drywall, and left looking like this:

We've been living in complete dust and chaos since the bathroom was cleared out... Exhibit A:

And this was before the vanity sat in the middle of the room for 2 days...

The bathroom also looked like this before the drywall went up:

First thing in was our new tile floor...

I cheated, I actually just took this 20 minutes ago

There's some really awesome glass mosaic along the step of the shower but it's covered in drop cloths and paint tools right now, so you'll have to wait until next week.

Then it was time for new dual sink plumbing.

Next came the drywall and patching. We hired someone to do this to save time, and because we were too scared to finish out our medicine cabinet box without having it look completely amateur.

He only charged $150 for the entire bathroom... WELL worth it.

Then it was time for paint! The winning color was Behr's "Reflecting Pool", which is a very pale gray-blue.

This swatch makes it look really gray, but my neighbor described it as "baby blue" when he saw it. Either way, I heart it.

Brad also installed recessed speakers and dimmable LED lighting. The light color is unlike anything else in the house... it's the color of daylight, so it feels like we're under a skylight when they are on. Pretty cool.

And finally.... the vanity. Ugh. Everything was coming along so well, until we hung the vanity. And I did a big WTF.

If you can remember.... this is what I ordered:

And this is what I got:

Um, hi? Who ordered the black vanity? Not I. I'm pretty sure it was 'espresso', and I'm pretty sure the pictures showed it ranging from a medium to a dark brown. But certainly not black.

The more I look at this the more annoyed I am. Not that there's anything wrong with black vanities.... I just had my heart set on a brown one. The black just makes the space a lot more modern and colder than what I was going for.

Returning it is not an option at this point, and I love everything else about it.... so I think I'm going to have to sand and stain it. I've never dealt with this sort of super smooth veneer wood looking material... but I hope this works. I just cannot live with the black. If you have any pointers, please tell me in the comments! I need all the help I can get.

So, aside from this huge vanity issue, I'm happy with everything else and the progress we've made. Tonight we finish painting the shower room and hang the screws for our mirrors, and tomorrow the glass tile vanity wall goes in.

More updates to come!