Saturday, May 28, 2011

New Header - Need Your Input

I've been playing. What do you think of my new header? Yes, no, maybe so? Gotta quit playing now and go clean house. Pout...pout. I like playing much better :0)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tornado Hits Close to Grandma's & Popcorn is Gone!

My heart and prayers go out to all those affected by the tornadoes ravaging the midwest.  One hit particularly close to home for me.  My late grandma, who passed away last year, lived south of Bedford, Indiana, on Brown Station Road, just about a quarter mile from Highway 50.  The tornado hit the corner we always turned at to get to her house.   In fact one of the homes hit there was her next door neighbors daughter's home.  They've been showing picture of it on the Weather Channel.

Grandma seemed to live in tornado alley.  Their farm was hit more than once over the years, uprooting trees in the back pasture, and once, taking down a tree right in front of the house.  Grandma lived alone right up until her death at age 93.  I am grateful she didn't experience this alone in her house.  I still have family there in Bedford,  as well as friends in Columbus, who had a tree uprooted in their yard.  I've been praying for safety for friends and family, and thankful that none of them were hurt.

On a more cheerful note, I am happy to report that the popcorn texture on my kitchen and living room ceilings is GONE!!



I just have to finish wet sanding the kitchen ceiling today.  Then I'm switching gears tomorrow to catch up on laundry and housecleaning in preparation for company over Memorial Day weekend. 

We have decided to move the date of Tyler's graduation to July 16th, which gives me another month to prepare.  I was beginning to panic at the thought of being ready by June 11th.  I'm breathing easier now.  Well, I'd better stop talking and get crackin'.  See you on the other side of Memorial Day.  Have a great weekend y'all.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Dream Kitchen on a Shoestring

I've been dreaming of my "dream kitchen" for years. Too many other things have had to come first, like a new roof, septic system, windows, college, etc. etc. I still haven't won the Publisher's Clearing House sweepstakes soooo...I'm going to get as close to my dream kitchen as I can on a shoestring budget.

My files are full of pictures of kitchens that I love. Here's a few of my favorites:

I just love this open shelving against the beadboard that Mikey at Shabby French Cottage just posted recently.  I have a wall that eventually I'd love to add cabinets to, but in the meantime I love this look and it would give me much more storage for my special dishes.

I drooled over this island the minute I first saw it at the Secret Garden Cottage.    I love that galvanized top!  Wonder if I could do that to my buffet top?

I love this black island from Recaptured Charm,  as well as Lisa's cabinets in the photo below.  I will be adding trim to the front of my cabinet doors in much the same way she did.  This color of white is closer to what I want on my cabinets too.  Isn't her kitchen just yummy?

Another favorite is the kitchen below, at Low Tide High Style.  I'm loving the darker counters against the white cabinets.  That little cabinet next to the refridgerator is adorable too.  I need a place for cookbooks.  That might work.

Just putting them together has helped me to see what I really want. White cabinets, beadboard, an island, dark countertops and a wood floor. We currently have a wood laminate floor that will work, although someday I'd like real wood. My cabinets are sturdy, but outdated. Some trim work, paint and beadboard wallpaper (that I already bought last year), will take care of them.  I might turn an old buffet I have into an island.

As far as the beadboard, I've got a stash of that my husband got free from work.  No, he didn't steal it.  It was some that would have gone to the scrap heap because it was the wrong something or other, or maybe had some damage.  I also picked up 2 unopened gallons of Behr white paint last year at the Habitat Restore for half off.  I'll have to mix it with something to tone it down a bit.  I don't want stark white, but rather a soft white like the second and third pictures above.

For now, I'm still scraping ceilings, in between cleaning out flower beds.  We just had two beautiful sunny days after a very cold, wet spring, so I had to get down off the ladder and get outside!  I have 3 weeks before Tyler's graduation party.   Think I can make it?  Probably not, but if I just get the ceilings and cabinets done in time,  I'll be happy. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Kitchen Mini-Remodel Underway

Although I'm dying to rip into our bathroom remodel, I first have to get ready for my son's graduation party.  My kitchen has been screaming for attention almost as long as the bathroom.  I can give the kitchen a facelift in time for the party, but the bathroom will take quite a bit longer.  So rather than have a partly finished bathroom, I will have a nicely updated kitchen.  That's the plan anyway.

Round 1 started today.  My son, Tyler (the one graduating), helped me.  We are scraping popcorn ceiling texture off the kitchen and living room ceilings.

Don't you love that shirt...Harry the Platypus!

What. A. Mess!  We still have a way to go.  That's a lot of scraping!  We made it about halfway across the kitchen this afternoon. 

I draped everything with old shower curtains to keep the mess to a minimum.  But that doesn't stop all of it.  I kept taking them out and shaking them, and sweeping as I went to keep it from spreading all over the house.

Even though it's messy and tiring, it is easy to do.  The tools are simple: a spray bottle of water, a large scraper, a rag and a bucket of water.  

Spray a small area two times, wait a few seconds, then start scraping.  I used a drywall blade because it is very sturdy and wide which made it go faster.  You might need a smaller scraper for any tight areas.  When spraying near the walls, wipe any drips or you'll have nasty dirty trails down your wall.  After scraping, go back and start washing with a rag and bucket of water.  You'll need to change the water frequently it gets dirty fast.  

It's tedious, dirty, overhead work, but the results are so worth it.  This is almost the last space I'll have to do this in.  I've removed texture from a room and hallway upstairs, and in my daughter's room.   It's also in the bathroom, hallway and office, but that's going to get ripped out when we gut those spaces for the new bathroom, so no more scraping, except maybe the part that will be turned into a pantry. 

Next will be painting the ceiling, then on to adding detail and painting the cupboards.  They are going white.  I'm so done with the green!  Now I'm off to Tyler's friend's choir concert...if I can get popcorn texture out of my hair :P

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Got Dynamite?

Yes we are blowin' out the walls on our bathroom project. I think dynamite would be the easiest solution. No? Shucks!

This tiny bathroom is going to get a lot bigger. We have a very small room behind it, that right now serves as an office/glorified closet/school book storage facility. Yes it's the one I painted here, and never showed you the finished room, because it is still a hot mess. There's just too much going on in that little space.

We plan to turn the back school room into the office.  Then the bathroom will expand into this room:

That closet wall will come down, (the bathroom is behind it) and a new wall will be moved forward into this room, to this side of the window that you can just see in the upper right corner.  There will then be two windows in the bathroom, making it nice and bright.  What's left of this room will become about a 6' x 8' pantry off the kitchen.   We'll have to cut a new doorway from the kitchen.

The bath will also extend into this hallway:

That shelf in the hallway holds our towels because there is no space in the bathroom for them, and not so much as a linen closet in this house.  So our 5' x 6' 10" bath will become an over 13" x 8' space,

Here's the current bath layout.

Here's the rough draft of the new layout.

Just a little bigger...huh?  I am so excited, I can hardly wait!  There will be a new closet, a 5'-6' vanity with some sort of storage/mirrors above that and 3 or 4 towel rods.  The toilet has a half wall for privacy, but will still let in the light from the window behind it.  We might make it a 3/4 wall with glass block for more privacy...not sure yet. 

So that's the plan, which will remain flexible up until the time we start putting it together.  Things could change.  You'll be the first to know...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Throwing The Baby Out With The Bath Water!

Well, it looks like my last post is toast.  I posted it sometime during the blogger blow-up, got one comment, and then it went up in cyber smoke...Pouff!  At least a draft was saved of the first section, but I still have to recreate most of it from memory.  Here goes nuthin'...and I mean memory is toast most of the time too lol!

This baby is really, really ugly...I mean close your eyes because it might blind you, kind of ugly! Now before you go reporting me to social services, let me explain. The "baby" is our main bathroom.

It is approximately the size of a postage stamp, but it is our main bath because it has a tub. The other bath is a half bath. This bathroom is butt ugly! Everything in it is older than dirt (some of it is returning to dirt I think). Except for the toilet. We bought that a couple of years ago and it will stay...because...we are fiiiiinally going to gut and enlarge it...the bathroom...not the toilet.  I am soooo excited!!

Here's proof of the tiny, ugly bathroom:

This view may not look so bad, but look closer...if you dare!

That little medicine cabinet is crammed so full I can barely close the doors. The cabinet below is the same.  All the toiletries for 5 people are stuffed in there.  My hair stuff won't even fit.  I keep it in the half bath, as well as hubby's shaving paraphernalia (big word for more stuff!)

The finish on the fake tile surround is flaking off.  No that isn't mold.  Remember the old formica counter tops in great-grandma's house that had little flecks of gold and silver to hide the dirt, only it just looked dirty?  Yup, uh-huh...that's been my cross to bear.  It gets worse.  My kitchen counters are covered in it too.  No matter how much I scrub, it just looks dirty.  I think that style was manufactured just about the time indoor plumbing was invented.

The floor may look okay from this view, but it is a piece of vinyl I cut as a temporary fix.  Ahem...please don't ask me to define temporary, but it was long ago and far away.  I messed up cutting around the toilet, so there is a crooked seam right across the middle.   I gave up, threw a rug over it and tried to ignore it. 

Here is our beautiful hollow core door.  There was a big shoe shaped hole in it when we moved in.  We didn't ask.  I temporarily patched it, but it got run into at some point (actually I think someone desperate was banging to get in), and it broke again.

And the tub...I actually didn't post this the first time around.  I couldn't bring myself too.  But in the spirit of keeping it real...maybe this is too real!  It's an old cast iron tub whose finish is etched.  We have rusty water, even with a filter.  Again that isn't mold, it's rust stains and etching.  We are going to have to get a water softener too, but that is not part of my bathroom budget.

I have $1000 to spend, so I am being as frugal as I can be and still get a bathroom that I can love, and that will last the next 20 or 30 years!  My husband said he didn't think I could do it.  I said, "watch me." 

I already found the faucets, yes, faucets plural. I want a big double sink vanity with lots of storage. Even though we have a half bath, this bathroom is the one everyone brushes their teeth in. Imagine two or three people brushing their teeth at once in this tiny space with one sink. I have actually been spat on (purely by accident of course) reaching to rinse my toothbrush just as someone else leaned over and spat out their toothpaste! Yuk!

I walk into Home Depot praying for what I need at great prices.  God is so awesome that he loves to give us the desires of our heart when we seek after him.  I found two of these faucets in a cart right at the front of the store, marked half off.  They were the exact color and style I wanted.  I got two of these babies for $138.  Delta no less.  Score one!

A few weeks later, hubby and I were doing the Home Depot Date.  No kids.  Just us and HD...bliss!  That's when I scored the tile.  You couldn't miss it.  There were stacks of it, once again, right at the front of the store.  Are you ready?  .57 cents a square foot.  I spent $54.  I may need more because I changed the floor plans for the billionth time, enlarging it even more.  I may get a slightly lighter shade and do a two tone pattern with some fancier edging tiles.  I've got an idea playing around in my head, but you and I will just have to wait and see what I come up with. 

I also got a shower curtain rod on sale at amazon with free shipping.  I couldn't find just what I wanted here in Smallville.  That set me back about $38.  Go figure, the shower rod cost only $16 less than the flooring.  But it's perfect and I love it.

Just this past week the hubs and I were once again in Home Depot without kids.  Please tell me I'm not the only one who loves HD dates?  He was looking for a gasket for something (yawn).  After he found it I dragged him over to the tub section.  I had looked a few weeks ago during their bathroom sale, but thought if I waited I could do better.

Lo and behold, there was a nice $280 American Standard model on clearance for $67!  But someone had beat me to it.  There was a sold sticker on it.  I almost groaned out loud.  I asked an assistant if by some chance they had another one somewhere, but he confirmed that was the last one.  I chalked it up to being a day late and a dollar short.

He walked away to help someone else, then disappeared.  We kept debating about tubs for a few more minutes.  Suddenly he walked back up, reached up and ripped that sale tag off the tub.  He said the person that bought the tub changed their mind a while ago and no one had bothered to take the tag off.  It was still for sale if we wanted it.  If ???  I think my mouth hit the floor.  Before anyone listening nearby could jump in front of me I said, "SOLD!" almost $300 tub for $67!  You think someone was holding that tub just for me?  God is good.  She's nothing fancy, but she's perfect for us.

My original post seemed a lot shorter.  Oh well, if you made it this far you are either a true friend or a real sucker for punishment!  Thanks for listening.  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Schoooooools. Out. For. Summer...

I am not an Alice Cooper fan, but that ditty runs through my head every year when we finish up our home school for summer. We are on the homestretch...after Friday...schooooools out for summer! Yeehaw!!!

Don't get me wrong, I love homeschooling, but by the time spring rolls around I am so ready to be done! It also means I can start PROJECTS! Sorry for shouting. I'm just a wee bit excited! As a teacher I realize I am using far too many exclamation points, but I just can't help myself!!!!!!!  Summer is my time to do projects.  I just can't find time during the school year, as my blog shows.  I had to blow dust off it to post this!

I have a project list a mile long. I've got to figure out how to put a running project list on my side bar that I can check off. I'm addicted to a check off list. 

My middle child is graduating this year and his party is in 4 1/2 weeks! I have
so many things I want to get done before then, but I know I will only get a fraction of them finished. I keep telling myself...prioritize...prioritize...prioritize!

I have two really big, exciting projects I want to tackle this summer (not to mention all the gajillion other large and small ones).  The first is a secret until tomorrow.  I'm preparing a separate post to tell you all about it.  Have I mentioned I'm really excited???  The picture to to left is a clue...hint, hint.

The other big project is a partial kitchen remodel.  Again, that will be a later post.  That's all for now, other than to say...I'm back and raring to go!


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