Monday, March 28, 2011

Powder Room Remodel

I've been waiting for this for six years!  Not a new diamond ring!  Not a nice fancy new outfit!  Not a new car!  But a remodeled little powder room.  Isn't it funny how priorities change over the years.  I love to be creative and this extends to the remodeling and decorating of my home.  I not only like it to be nice and new and clean, but I like it to be a little different.  I like someone to walk into the room and say, "Wow, that's so different.  How did you do that?  Where did you get that idea?"

My little powder room is original to the house and still has the old builder's grade materials.  I've worked with it this way and tried to make it as "cute" as I could.  I sort of had ideas in my head as to what I wanted to do and knew it wasn't going to be real cheap or easy, as most remodels aren't.  So I waited.  Now the time has come.  I knew what I wanted and I set to work on finding the pictures that were in my head.  It's still a work in progress, but as promised in yesterday's post,  I'll show you the development so far.

To start with, here are the before pictures.

Notice the solid green walls.  This was also the ceiling color.  This counter top just grated on my eyes.   I hated it!  And the vanity is just plain and cheap grade.

I did what I could.

I had replaced the plain sheet of glass mirror that had been up and I am going to keep this new mirror.  I also like my little ceramic plaque that says "powder room".  But that ugly light bar above the mirror was also something that grated on me.

Hubby and I got to work last week taking down the hardware and fixtures and removing the old countertop.  I decided to keep the vanity because I had a plan in my head for that.  Of course, nothing is as easy and quick as you think it's going to be.

When the old light bar was taken down the hole left behind was huge.  This is the base of the new light fixture to show that there is no way it's going to cover up this mess.

In the meantime, I was able to hire my wonderful talented friend, Brenda, that does faux painting and murals.  She was able to squeeze me into her busy schedule and was coming last Friday.  So now we had to get the holes fixed by Thursday night.

Hubby worked into the evening but of course he had to turn the electric off in the bathroom and was working by lamp light.  I know he was frustrated but gave me an encouraging smile anyway!

It was coming along.  I knew it didn't have to be absolutely smooth and perfect because of the painting that was going to be done.

In the meantime, the week before last, we had ordered the countertop

and copper sink (This was the floor sample that had been dropped and is bent.  Ours will be new, of course)

Brenda came in Friday morning and she also had done my foyer shown here.  She knows me and the style I was going for.  I wasn't able to be home on Friday, so I described the pictures that were in my head as to how I wanted this tiny little bathroom to look.  I wanted  Tuscan style, with leaves and vines, but no flowers.  I wanted to keep the green walls but a lighter shade with a Tuscan wash, and I showed her pictures of the counter sample and sink.  We also already have the darling little chandelier that is going up, so she was able to see that.  Brenda is amazing.  I came home Friday night and it's just like she got into my head and could see the pictures that were in there!
This is now the wall and area above the mirror where the new light fixture is going to connect.

I had also pointed out to Brenda a little cupboard that sits in my hallway on the other end of this bath and told her I wanted the vanity to look something like that.

And this is what she did!
Similar but with no flowers.  Exactly what I wanted.

And notice the wooden feet she bought and put under the bottom lip.  Perfect!

Brenda is coming back tomorrow just for a few touch ups.  She had also run out of light while working and missed a few spots.  I hope tonight Bob has time to get the new light up.  We expect the new fixtures to come in next week.  I'll keep you updated!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Keeping Life Good and Less Difficult

This is the page of my Mary Englebreit calendar for next week.  When I turned the page today, this struck me that it is so true and I feel like most of the time this is how I try to live my life.  As a woman, mother, wife and grandmother, this is probably true for most.

This was the case for this weekend for me.  My son and his wife had volunteered to take the pictures of the church members for their church directory.  They are both photographers for the Air Force.  Hubby and I offered to pick the three kids up and keep them with us for the weekend since their mom and dad were going to be busy the whole weekend.  As always, it's great to be with the grandchildren, but you all know how hard it is to get anything else done.  It's worth it!

Leanna is crawling now so a bottle at least keeps her in one place for a little while.

Landen plays a lot with little character figurines.   Yesterday he talked (conned) his Grandpa Bobby into buying him some new Batman characters.

Logan finally, reluctantly, left his Wii game long enough to eat a few pancakes.  He was also doing some building with Kinex.  He's very good at building things.

This is what kept us very busy all weekend.  The week had also been very busy with work.  I was putting together mailings and presentation folders for Hubby.  We also started the remodel project on our main floor powder room.  This has been on my project list for about six years now.  I knew what I wanted to do wasn't going to be cheap, so I had to wait a while.   My next post tomorrow will show the progress so far.  I'm very excited about it.

A few weeks ago I wrote a post here about whether to go back to work doing something other than what I already do which is actually quite a bit for my Hubby's Financial Planning business.  I have since answered my own question.  NO WAY!  At least for now.  What was I thinking!?  I certainly have enough going on without piling something else on. I don't need to make things difficult for myself, as I'm trying and loving making life less difficult for others.  I'm happy just the way things are!

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Easter Parade in My Home

I was lucky enough to be able to spend the whole weekend at home so I got my Easter decorating done.  It was sunny all weekend, although not very warm, so it just felt right to be getting out the lighter colors and putting away the dark green.

I finished the front stoop and doorway.
I put Easter eggs on my little tree and flowers and vines above the door. I usually bring this little tree inside about now, but decided to maybe leave it out with seasonal decorations until it's warm enough to put a real flower planter there.

My entrance foyer table got it's Easter makeover.
 I made the little quilted pillows.  They are actually for sale in my Etsy shop here.

The Easter quilt is hanging on my quilt hanger in the upstairs hallway.

I made this several years ago.  The egg and flower baskets are hand appliqued and the quilting is hand done.

 It's one of my favorites.  It only hangs out for a couple of months a year.

My dining room looks so lighter and brighter now with  the light green tablecloth replacing the dark burgundy that was there all winter.

The little spring quilt in the center is one I also made several years ago.

It's a mosaic style to form a wreath in the middle.  I embellished it with ribbon and beads and lace on the inner border.  I hand quilted the border only on this one.

The buffet server is all set.

 The little wire tree was made for me by a very good friend.  It's made from wire coat hangers.

The eggs sitting on the cake servers were made by me a long time ago.  Many have broken over the years.  Some are ceramic from my ceramic days.  This was my hobby at the time I was pregnant with my oldest son. He'll be 30 in a few weeks.

The rest are just decorated shells.  The yolks have been blown out by carefully putting a hole in one end and sucking it out through a straw.  It was a lot of work and not easy.  I did that one year and never felt like doing it again.  Maybe some day I'll give it another shot.

Most of the little ceramic bunnies were made by my mother in her ceramic days.

It's early yet and I haven't been to JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts for a few weeks, so there will probably still be some additions to the decor.  For now, I'm satisfied! The inside of the house feels a little sunnier, even it it's not so much outside.

Joining Cielo's Show Off Your Cottage Monday
Kathy's  Delightsome Life's Celebrate Spring

Friday, March 18, 2011

Spring Cleaning and Decorating

I can't believe it!  The sun is shining and it's 64 degrees outside.  It feels so good for a change.  I was going to start my Easter/Spring decorating today anyway, but now I'm so much more motivated.  Of course, nothing is blooming and the melting snow is leaving everything looking dirty and wet, but a change is on the way.

Here's a little bit of the snow still laying around.
Surely this will be gone by tomorrow.

I brought in the last remnants of Christmas and winter decorations.  The wooden trees and little wooden snowman that were still on the back deck are finally put away.

Now my bunnies are out guarding the back and front doors until Easter.
Oh, the shovel has been put away, hopefully not to be seen again for another 8 months.

That's about it so far.  There's much more to do, but I clean as I go so it takes me a while.  I got all the St. Patrick's things gathered to be put away.

So now the Rubbermaid box labeled St. Patrick's Day can be brought up from the basement and packed and the Easter/Spring Rubbermaid boxes can be carried up.  I always forget what I have and each season it's like opening gift boxes as I sort out my seasonal decorations.  Then, of course, a trip or two always has to be made to JoAnn's to replace and update.  

My other seasonal decorating that needs to be done is my blog!  I love updating it a little each season, too.  Just because it's fun and makes me feel good!  

So you know what I'll be doing over the weekend.  Busy!  Busy!

I'm linking to My Romanic Homes Show and Tell Friday here
and Stuff and Nonsense Friday's Unfolded here

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tea Cup Tuesday

I didn't plan on posting again today.  This is a work (as in a job) day for me.  But since I work from home and for my Hubby, I sort of took a little detour on the computer, got a little side tracked (as I do quite often), and found this Tea Cup Tuesday party here at Martha's Favorites, and I couldn't resist.

I have a large tea cup collection and a lot of related items, so I thought how perfect and fun.
Here is my little spot of tea corner in my tea/piano parlor.

This is the little tea cup that I'm going to show today.

  I've grown my collection into demitasse cups.  I just think they are so cute and delicate. Notice my coaster has a tea cup and pot on it.  I was lucky enough for several years to travel to Europe while my parents were living there for about six years.  I was able to find several cups on my travels.

It's very fine and delicate.  I keep it in a glass curio cabinet along with my other more delicate cups.  This one was from the Czech Republic.  The writing on the bottom is so small I can hardly read it.
It's Rosa Porcelain, hand painted.

I have a lot more to show so I'm glad to find this party and look forward to next Tuesday!

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Grandma Weekend

(Mary Englebreit calendar)

How did I do it?  How did I raise two sons?  The above picture maybe sums up the why and how! Hubby and I did a pretty good job, too!  I worked full time with my own business, cooked meals (most nights), kept a clean house, attended all the boys' school and sports functions, and still had energy left over. Organization is always my secret weapon.

Now, my boys are 28 and soon to be 30, and I'm so glad I had babies when I was very young!  It's not easy.   Parents need to have that youthful energy, which I hate to say I no longer have for long periods at a time.

My oldest son and family were here for the weekend, from about noon on Friday until noon Sunday.  It was a very nice weekend but I'm worn out!  In a good way.   I had the three kids mostly by myself on Friday.  Austin and Melissa had several errands to take care of and Hubby was working.  I have to say, they are very well behaved kids, but it's still a lot of work that I'm just not used to on a daily basis.  I love having them here, though.  I had made a taco casserole ahead of time for lunch.  Austin and Melissa brought Chinese home for dinner.  We had a relaxing evening just watching TV. (Well, relaxing with three kids takes on a different level than when I'm home alone with Hubby)

Saturday morning started out with homemade waffles and fresh strawberries.
After breakfast, Austin and Melissa got into the old photo albums.  I've always taken a lot of pictures, but in the days before digital cameras or even computers, I kept them all in chronological order in albums and scrapbooks.  Now most of my pictures for at least the last two years is on my computer.  I really should have a lot of them printed because  they spent hours flipping through pages of books enjoying all the old pictures.

Hours later, Austin was still sitting on the floor with his memories.

Logan, my oldest grandchild and very special to all of us, is six years old and loves television, video games, movies, the computer, and anything of the like.  He's an expert at video games.  We got a Wii game for Christmas so that they could have it here at our house when they came to visit.  This is where Logan spends most of his time.
As you can see on the TV screen.  He wouldn't even look at me for a picture until he paused his game.
Logan is such a beautiful, unique, sweet, loving and lovable little boy.

Landen, our second grandchild is now 5.  His Bobby (they call us Bobby and Nina, by their choice, not by our insistence) is his best bud and he clings to his Bobby like glue.

  I don't know what they were looking at, but they then got the binoculars to see whatever it was even better.
In order to give Bobby and Landen a little time apart, we suggested that Landen sit and color Bobby some pictures that we could hang on the refrigerator.
That worked for a little while.  That's red marker on his cheek!

Poor little baby Leanna has a cold and an ear infection, so she was just a little bit fussy.  Otherwise she's such a good baby.  She's now 9 months old.  Her poor little nose was so stuffy so Mommy gave her a nice warm bath to clear up her congestion a little bit.
She loves splashing around in the water.  Then she got cuddled up in warm jammies and was happy and content with her bottle.
I spent the whole Saturday just basically cooking, cleaning, holding the baby, getting snacks for the boys and monitoring game and TV time.

Austin and Melissa went to some friends' house for dinner and for the evening.  This gave them a night out with friends they hadn't seen in a long time and some much needed time alone without kids.  It was a busy evening for me.  Did I mention they brought their dog, too?  My evening with kids is just different than what I'm normally doing.  I certainly can't sit and knit while watching TV!  Forget it!  The baby was very fussy but finally went to bed about 9:00.  And Logan wouldn't leave the TV turned off after his 9:00 curfew.  I'd go up to check on him and he'd have the TV turned back on again.  I finally got it all under control and I have to admit that I was exhausted!

Sunday morning, Grandpa Bobby got up with the boys and I got up with the baby.  I baked cinnamon rolls, changed a diaper, fed the baby a bottle, let the dogs out, and the clocks were set an hour ahead so it read 8:00, but really it was still feeling like 7:00 am.  Then I noticed that Logan hadn't been seen and there he was downstairs in front of the Wii game without me even knowing it!  Who knows what time he got up and sneaked down there.

By the time they all left at noon, I realized I never brushed my teeth or washed my face for a day!  This is when I'm so glad I had my children very young!  And weekends like this are why I'm so glad to be a Grandma to my beautiful grandchildren!

I'm linking to Show Off Your Cottage Monday.  I usually show off a room or something in my house, but decided to share what goes on in my house this Monday.


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