Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A fragrant day

The smells from the wisteria blooms are wonderful this time of year. We enjoy them at work all day as our office is under a massive over hang of them. This year we have our very own wisteria that will some day have it's own trellis to wrap around and grow. It's just beautiful.
The plants around the pool have sprung up a few new visitors, I can't wait till they open.

As I write this blog post, the house is filling up with the excellent smell of "Mama One's" meatloaf! Oh, Rory and I can't wait for that, it most certainly is a favorite of ours, and it's been too long since I've made it.

Here is a sneak peak of something I've been working on on my free time, which seems like never. Inspired by our love for coffee, my love for craftiness and also my new love for decorating I have been working with yards of fabulous Russian linen and fabric inks to replicate these cool burlap coffee sacks to use as decor around our living room. I'll post them when I'm all done.

The progress on the bathroom is minimal today. Rory did get to hang a few pieces of hardie backer in the shower after work, but now it's time to eat!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday's work, almost complete

I am having a bit of an allergy attack right now so I'm couch ridden trying to stay out of the elements and construction dust. This morning as we went out to walk Baxter we noticed the car was covered in yellow oak pollen, hooray! It's that time of year where everything is blooming, and for me that means I have to stay inside if I want to feel somewhat normal. Good thing I'm allergic to oak tree's eh?
Well we have gotten a few more things checked off our list.
I hung the plastic on the walls this morning, you can see our lovely gray shower pan liner from last night, we installed the drain today. That liner is now covered in mortar, that just has to dry and it will soon be ready for tile!!
Rory is currently framing out the tub wall and we can probably get the tub in this week as long as we can find a few strong helpers to give us a hand.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

It was worth the drive

We took a bit of a drive down south this morning bright and early to go pick up another thousand plus tiles we are going to need for our shower, and the two sinks. These are the replacement sinks that FedEx originally broke awhile back. The new ones are beautiful, it's hard to capture the true beauty of these hand painted Talavera ceramic sinks with my camera, but here are a couple shots of one of them. The boxes behind are about half of the tiles, the rest are in our den.

We also got a good amount of progress done on the bathroom. Rory and I poured in the concrete over the finished plumbing, and the gaping hole we have had in the floor for 3 weeks. I helped mix the cement with our mortar mixer, that thing really helped out but its hard to hang on to!

We gave the house a little branding, and although it will just be covered up with the floor, I like the fact that it's there. Our hearts are really going into this bathroom along with our hard work & sweat.

Rory put in the first layer of mortar in the shower floor last night, here it is. We just put in the shower liner and glued all the corners, tomorrow we can finish the final mortar floor.

This week we had the glass guys take the huge wall mirror down and they are going to cut it down slightly on all sides and reinstall it. Look how great the can lights look flush with the ceiling, as apposed to before in that lowered soffit we took out. Well it's hard to tell with the purple board up and unpainted, but it will look good, I promise!


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

We survived the plumbing

Well just barely, we were both having chest pains from it, but it should be over now. Starting Saturday we had a series of unfortunate events leading into us not having the water on for an entire 24 hours. What was supposed to be a 1/2 day plumbing job we hired out, finally finished after 4 days.
The plumber had most of the bad events happen to him, which then transferred on to us, so after all he went through we added to the pressure with two unhappy homeowner faces and he got it done yesterday evening. Now I hope to have lots of progress in the next week regarding putting our bathroom back together.
Saturday morning we are taking a drive down to pick up our sinks that we had to have remade due to FedEx breaking the originals. But I have good news the tile company owner said these custom painted Talavera Sinks are better than before, the painted details improved on the second attempt and I can't wait to see them and post a photo of them in one piece!
Well when this bathroom is all finished hopefully we will have a fabulous resort like getaway right in our home, just like this one or similar!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spring Flowers

Amongst all the craziness and stress that comes along with a complete bathroom remodel, I have to remember the beauty around us this time of year should not be over looked. I wouldn't want to miss the spring since I have been a little preoccupied with our plumber situation, so I had to post these photos of the beautiful peach blossoms from my dad's orchard.
I hope to have some progress soon on our bathroom, but the delay is very much out of our hands at this point. Maybe tomorrow!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Plumber postponed

Well till tomorrow at least. He came by today to make sure he knew what parts to bring for the work tomorrow. He should be here bright and early, which is bitter sweet for a Sunday! Well Rory didn't let that delay stop him any, while I fought with some weeds out front, he got a lot of work done in the bathroom. It may not look pretty yet but we can really see the improvement.

He cut a hole in the outside wall for the access to the whirlpool tub motor in case there is ever a need to access it, we don't have to destroy our tiled tub surround.
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Baxter of course thought it was a custom doggy door for him.
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Rory quickly sealed up the gaping hole with this pre made access door. He put silicone all over the seam and screwed it into the framing, it just needs to be painted the same color as the wall and it's done.
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Rory framed in a custom recessed soap holder for our shower.
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He also replaced all the rotten wood with new, and the footing with properly pressure treated 2x4's.
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And he got a bit of drywall up in the meantime.
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Friday, March 19, 2010

Surprise visitor

One of my favorite things about owning a home for the first time, has been witnessing all the fun surprises that our first spring has brought us. The previous owners have left us a few little hidden jewels that I could not be more excited about, and this one takes the cake!
Remember a bit ago when I posted the photo of the unopened flowers that popped up in our newly finished "desert" themed section of our side patio? Well she opened up today!
I thought it must be a variety of tulip, but I have never seen one like her. So I did a quick search on the web for types of tulips, and right away the name of one caught my eye. A "Fringed Tulip" comes in many color varieties, but ours are a gorgeous hot orange/red with a dark black center & a bright yellow border. This flower practically looks like a burning flame, the little fringed ends are so delicate and spectacular. You can click on the images to see them larger, I hope you enjoy it, because it made my day!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Knobs are on!

I feel a bit silly posting everyday with our small bathroom renovation progress, but it has been so long of nothing but demolition, that it feels really good to add and not take away.
I measured out the centers of the drawers and doors on our vanity, drilled and installed the knobs. I love them, the quality of the Baldwin hardware is so much better than the generic types they have in hardware stores. They feel better, the screws and threading are built just perfectly and they look fantastic.
Today Rory finished one of the last things to take out of the bathroom, the toilet. He needs to prep the trench just a bit more this week before the plumbers come on Saturday to plumb in our tub water and drain, yeah!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

What a day!

Wow, we had one of our best days of weather this year, it was beautiful. No wind, no rain, and it was actually warm! Rory and I were inspired by the beautiful day and spent most of it outside in our backyard cleaning it up. It really needed it!
The pool was not it's prettiest color, and still had fall leaves on the bottom. Rory tackled that, the lawn and also attended to our bathroom remodel.
I cleaned up my cabinet door painting station, also known as the outdoor dining table. I put out the new rug we picked up last week from home depot, it looks great and really adds to the warmth of the dining set.
After the work it was great to have a seat and enjoy a glass of fresh lemonade with strawberries, so good.
Oh if you look really close maybe you can spot Baxter's little black nose hiding in the photo. He seems to get in almost every shot!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Vanity is coming together

This is our custom 8 foot long vanity we had made by Rory's old boss and custom cabinet maker. Rory had said he would build it with him but he surprised us and had all the work done for free, we just payed materials so he was a huge help. His cabinet shop is amazing we owe him big time for the favor and the final product in our bathroom remodel will be excellent.
He built all the boxes and drawer bottoms out of pre-finished birch wood with top of the line drawer slides and hinges. The fronts are made out of paint grade poplar that I have been painting for a few weeks.

Here is the cabinet put together without the pulls installed. The hinges for the drawer faces and doors still need some final adjustments to get them perfectly spaced and level. I love the way this new piece of furniture looks aged and distressed. It will go really nicely with our hand painted tile sinks and counters.

This is a close up of the cabinet door and the aged glazing two tone look I was going for came out great for my first attempt.

Here is our new book shelf with the books in place. I got the books off the floor and out of a box just in time for the vanity to move into the house. We'll get it all organized eventually!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Craigslist you rocked today!

I spotted this very plain looking bookshelf for sale on craigslist in town. We are in dire need of a bookshelf, our books have been in a box since the move (August).
So I called the man and he said he had another one for sale too, and to come by and look. Rory and I headed out, only 3 blocks from our house, and as soon as we saw them we knew which one we wanted, the one below. He gave us a very good deal and it fits our decor perfectly.

Here is our new knotty pine bookshelf with drawers, pretty much exactly this. I'll fill it up by tonight but before that, here is a quick shot I snapped of it empty. Please excuse our mess, most of that is soon to be bathroom. Boxes of tile and kohler faucets have been on our floor for the last month.

Oh! Here is Rory with his first pair of glasses. I think he looks great in them, he's got kind of a Clark Kent Lumber jack thing going. :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Cupcake Thursday

It's been a long night of baking, but I have these little cuties to show for it. While Rory continued to jackhammer all the way on the other side of the house, I tried to happily bake these adorable cupcakes for a thirteen year old girls birthday while ignoring the sound.

I made 30 cupcakes in chocolate and vanilla, with butter cream frosting (so good) and hand made custom decorations out of royal icing.

The cupcakes will be displayed on my Wilton cupcake stand to show off the message "Happy 13th Birthday Amanda"

The best part to all that work, the rejects. These little not so cute cupcakes are for us!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Just what I always wanted!

A trench! I bet you wish you had a trench like mine, it's pretty nice.
Here it is the result of a lot of labor, a bit of stress, and copious amounts of dust. Rory has been cutting with a saw into our slab (on purpose) to make way for the plumbing to our "new" tub.
Here we have the existing plumbing for one of the sinks in the bathroom. The trench goes from there to the other side of the room.

Here's the trench leading to the tool box just about where the drain will be for our tub.

This is Rory's exhaust fan set up, it worked pretty well actually. He left the other widow open and had a little vacuum effect going. Just a bit of dust made it through the plastic shield he set up to our bedroom.

And here are the tools he did it with. Thanks to a fantastic friend of ours he got to borrow these very expensive and powerful pieces of equipment. A Bosch Jackhammer, a bulldog (mini jack hammer) and a skilsaw with a diamond blade.

The plumber came by tonight and said Rory needs to cut just another foot section in one area and then he can run our plumbing in. One more step in the right direction.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sunday Picnic and Baxter meets the oreo cows.

We took some of the day off on Sunday to enjoy the weather and fresh air. The three of us headed out with some sandwiches and had a little picnic and a walk. Baxter pulled us around like a mini draft horse smelling for the cows that were around but no where to be seen. The loose cows out in woodstock must have been on someones property that day, but their evidence that they were recently there was left behind.
So we drove down the road to show him the oreo cows at a ranch. Rory calls them oreo cows because of their similarity to the cookie with their adorable white stripe down the middle. They are so gentile and furry I wanted to climb in there and hug them. This being Baxter's first experience with cows we were excited to see how he would react. He is usually fearless with all, but the bull had him a bit scared. He would walk up and smell them then dart back behind Rory's leg for safety.

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I think if it were just this little guy Baxter would have been more adventurous.
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We've been pretty cooped up in the house with the bathroom reno lately and needed some supplies for the shower. So off to the hardware mega store.
Who knew I'd find some great stuff at Home Depot to spice up our decor? These finds are going to brighten up our patio just in time for warmer weather, we hope!
These outdoor pillows are so fun and go perfectly with the green cushions of our outdoor dining set and bench. I plan to use them with our lounge chairs as a head pillow when I lay out this summer to hopefully get a tan!

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I also picked up this outdoor rug at Home depot for great price, it can be washed off with a garden hose, how great is that? Plus it really defines the dining table area. The red color blends well with our Spanish paver patio floor. I'll post a picture of the carpet once I've stopped using our outdoor table as my painting table, right now it's covered in cabinet doors.

Speaking of cabinet doors, I am happy to say that I have finished all necessary coats, and coats, and coats of paint. I also got in the beautiful knobs today. Here is a close up of the chrome finished knob from Baldwin hardware. I love them! Thank goodness!
I don't know if you can see the "old look" finish on the doors but they were a certainly labor of love. I put on (front and back) a coat of primer, two coats of green paint then sanded and distressed then glazed the detail of the recessed panel with brown glaze and finally gave two coats of polyurethane to seal it.

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