Tuesday, August 25, 2009

BIG Project - Continuing Saga

Aside from the long drive home (12+ hours)...it's been hard to get back into the re-do groove. Time away was a very relaxing time with my sister. On the way home we stopped off in New Orleans and had beignets and coffee Au Lait (Au Lait means that it is mixed half and half with hot milk. Beignets are square French -style doughnuts, lavishly covered with powdered sugar.)

I took a picture of the floor of the place...it's pretty well covered with powered sugar.

Oh well...I don't have to clean that floor!

While I was gone "my crew" (HA! Love the sound of that!) got the quarter round put down. We used a regular size quarter round for the bedroom, but built up a more substantial one in the bath room to give "weight" to the tile and create more "drama". I think it turned out great.

The guys also brought in the new vanity...it weighs a TON! I think once it's all in place, it will look wonderful. I found this at one of the local "warehouse/antique" sales in our area...so Miss Janice came for a look/see and bought it on the spot. We're still waiting on the plumber to come and hook it all up, so a little bit of a stand still in the bathroom.

However, we've been moving ever forward in the bedroom. Miss Janice's brother-in-law created this headboard from an old 5 panel door. Her nephew drove up from Houston a few weeks ago to deliver it so we'd have it when we were ready to put the bedroom together.

First, it needed a white coat of paint. The girls got it covered in no time...but still something was lacking.

Next came a coat of wax tinted with a mahogany stain. We rubbed it on then polished it up to give it just a hint of color and distress.

We still felt it needed a little bit more, so we added some metal architectural elements.

We added just enough to dress up the headboard.

Next we brought in the bed pieces and made the bed. The headboard is slightly large, but when Miss Janice finally upgrades to a queen size bed it will be a perfect size.

We also got the closet put back together and the new curtains hung. I made these from some of my fabric stash that my friend gave me. I don't usually has such large pieces, but I had several complimentary pieces in the brown and blue pallet. A pretty trim was added between the two and instant closet door. (Almost.) I made the curtains before we began this project and they were the deciding factor on the colors we went with in the two rooms.

The top curtains on the bedroom windows are of the same complimentary fabric as the closet fabrics, however the drapery panels were purchased at Target. I think they look great together. We only found two panels at the Target we were at, so we need to look for another one to fill out the larger window. I'll try to take a close up of the curtains tomorrow so you can see the detail on the panels.

We brought in some of Miss Janice's other furniture today. We still have the mantel to finish and place on the wall between the bathroom and bedroom.
As promised here's a picture of the new mantel I will use with the insert I've had FOREVER!

There are still many, many boxes to empty and more furniture to bring in, and the bathroom to complete, but we are on target to finish by the end of the month! Miss Janice is planning a large open house to show off her new digs (minus all the carpet in the 4 rooms we've completed!) Look for more pictures to come.
Till next time....

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I am on vacation this week in Pensacola, Fl. My sister and I are having a lovely, relaxing time doing almost nothing!

We do have Plan B for rainy days. Thanks to Tropical Storm Claudette we've had rain in the afternoons. Not bad...we spend time at the beach in the mornings then by afternoon we are on the hunt for antique stores.

We found this little place, plus about 6 others in the Pensacola area. Never fear...we also have Plan C...which is to check out other nearby cities for antique stores if it continues to rain in the afternoons. I've found some very strange things for sale in this city...things I don't think belong in Florida, and an idea for all those shells you'll find on the beach.

First...Our favorite find of the day was this "P and Go". I'm not really sure what it should say, but we opted NOT to use the facilities here.

Now, for all those shells you've picked up on the beach. No mirror project for you! No gluing them onto a candle of some small trinket box....NO! Not good enough. This is the perfect project to make YOUR house stand out! I mean WOW...who took the time to do this? Would sure be a conversation piece. Miss Janice...you need this?

OK...I expected to see some strange things for sale, but really...a sled? Maybe they used it on some of the larger sand dunes? Maybe someone packed the garage and just didn't realize it got brought along when they moved to Florida? I was shocked that in one day of shopping here in Pensacola I saw 3 sleds!

OK...seriously. This didn't sell in your garage sale before you left the North? You thought you "might" need it in Florida? You thought you could make a fashion statement with this coat because no one else in Pensacola would have one? What were you thinking? (And this wasn't the only mink coat we saw! This troubles me!)

And last, but not least...a muff with a head AND a tail! OK, I MIGHT put my hand in by his little neck...but I AM NOT putting my hand in the other end. There is just something SO WRONG about this! Where in ALL of Florida are you going to use this? Did your uncle shoot it for you? Please...I just don't think this is a "vintage" item anyone wants!

We have laughed at some pretty funny items. Makes for very interesting shopping. Vacation is half way over...so next week look for the big push to finish Miss Janice's bedroom/bathroom makeover! Till then...my sister and i wish you the best!

Monday, August 17, 2009

BIG Project - Weekend

Another weekend has past, and a lot was accomplished! Saturday morning began with a call from Miss Janice to "come see" what she'd found at a garage sale. When I arrived she was negotiating on a coffee table and a mantel. (Her old coffee table was one of the items sent to consignment.) The mantle, however, was more what we envisioned for the fireplace in the bedroom, so she bought it. (I'll have to post a picture when I get one.)

The mantel she currently owns will be used in another (future) project. Nothing like changing midstream...but what fun is it unless you're open to new and different possibilities! We both really like the new mantle and once I saw it I knew I owned the "PERFECT" insert to complete the look for the bedroom! (I have owned this piece for many, many years and knew there would eventually be the ideal place to showcase it!) I'll have to get some pictures to show you.

I applied the first coat of sealer to the bedroom floor on Thursday and gave it a full day to dry. This was combined with the bathroom floor being grouted and letting it set up in preparation for sealing the grout.

Saturday we were ready to begin the tedious work of sealing the grout. Once that was completed I could lay down a second coat of sealer on the bedroom floor and both floors will need 72 hours to cure. (Another couple of days Miss Janice has to do without her washer and dryer!)

Here is the floor after the first coat of sealer. It already looks wonderful...but there were spots that still appeared dry. There were areas on the floor that seemed to drink in more stain than others, but the second coat will even it all out.

Peter and I worked a good portion of Saturday on sealing the bathroom floor. YES, we went around each of those tiles! (At least we didn't have to do one of those two step applications! Once was enough!) We used bits of blue tape to mark where we had been and where we were going. This is at the very end...he's working his way out of the bathroom door. His method was to lie flat on the floor and use his knee pads for his elbow.

Peter also got the molding cut for the bathroom and bedroom to finish off the baseboards. Ashley will paint them this week so we can get them nailed down. Miss Janice decided on some "chunky" moldings for the bathroom. Once they are in place I'll post a picture for you to see.

I got the last coat of sealer on the floor...then sealed up the room! Miss Janice thinks we're trying to asphyxiate her with all the smells...so I tried to contain it just in that room!

Lots of little projects to work on this week...but I've left my crew and am in Pensacola with my sister for the week...I'm sure the list will be finished when I return home! (LOL)

As soon as I receive the pictures of the mantel I'll post them for you to see....
till then,

Thursday, August 13, 2009

BIG Project - Getting Close to finish?

I may as well confess...I'm a lazy painter. My paint trays are Teflon (very easy clean up...Lauren peels the paint off the next day...her favorite job!) As for brushes and rollers...bag them and place them in the icebox. (Fridge to some of you!)

I'm sure Miss Janice loves us storing all our painting supplies on top of her food...but there is a price for beauty (as she's discovered with the smell created by the floor stain!)

The floor is looking good. It just needed one more day to make sure it was totally dry before beginning the next step. I also cannot put the sealer on the floor until the guys get the bathroom floor grouted. We have to time things now for drying time and access to each of the rooms. The laundry room is accessed through the bathroom, and of course, the bathroom is accessed through the bedroom. Miss Janice has had to carefully plan her laundry times between floors being laid, sanded, drying...we give her windows of laundry times! She puts up with a lot, but on completion I think she'll be pleased.

While waiting for the floor to finish drying (YAWN!) We decided to paint the back hallway. It's one of the last areas in the house that has the peach color on the walls. There are still two more painted doors that have peach on them, but when we touch up all the trim (after the shoe molding is laid) we'll paint those doors and be rid of all vintage (HA! 1980's) peach! I'm sure it was a lovely color, at one time, but really...they painted EVERYTHING peach!

We used the same white we used in the bedroom for this hallway. It really brightened up this back entry. It's a pretty dark hallway and just the coats of white lightened it up.

OK...Painting interlude complete...back to the bedroom floor.

When we first began this BIG project Miss Janice was considering a painted wood floor for the bedroom. She thought she would like it to be white, but hadn't decided if she wanted a light white wash or a fully painted white floor. We were all positive the floor underneath was going to look bad, which it did, but, once the floor was sanded and cleaned it looked wonderful! I could see she was hesitant to paint the floor after seeing how beautiful it looked. She loves her dark floors throughout the house and wanted to stay true to the look and feel of a 1917 Victorian.

My suggestion was to stain the floor dark like the other floors in the house, but paint a design on top before we seal the floor. I knew she was a little skeptical, so we looked at a lot of magazines and Internet sites, but never really found anything that would give her a visual of my idea as to how it would look. BUT, she's learned to jump wholeheartedly out of her little accountant box and take that creative leap faith...sometimes a huge leap for her!

To help her with my vision, I drew out some scroll designs on the brown paper we'd laid on top of the floor to protect it until staining was complete. She liked the idea, so I began searching for a design she would like. We ended up looking at stencils on Jan Dressler's site. She found two she really liked so we ordered them.

We decided on a large "corner" stencil.

I stenciled the first corner. I used very little paint so the wood grain would show and it would look worn...like it had been original to the house.

I stenciled each of the corners in the room.

The area near the corner window she wanted a little more.

This is the entry into the room.

I reversed the stencil for the entry to the bathroom. There wasn't a "real corner" near the closet and the bathroom entry, so I used it as an accent for the area. There will be a threshold to connect the two floors once the floors are complete.

This is under the window on the long wall.

Last night we got the gout on the floor. It had to dry a couple of hours, so we enjoyed some porch time while waiting...then at 10:00 pm we did the last wipe down of all the tiles. The grout must dry for 16 hours, so I'll seal the wood floor this morning.

Well...time to run. I have to wipe the bathroom floor down one more time and put the first coat of sealer on the floor. This will give ample drying time for Miss Janice to have her "window of opportunity" for laundry on Friday night before we seal the grout on Saturday and put the final coat of sealer on the wood floor.

We are now entering the point in the project when things seem to be at a crawl. A lot of hurry up and wait. The waiting on the floors to cure moves us past the weekend, but next week the plumber will have to come to install the new vanity and toilet. Shoe mold has to be installed on both floors and the mantel needs a final coat of paint and finish out before it's installed on the wall in the room. My "crew" (my husband will love that!) will attend to these items while I'm gone...yes, I said gone! My sister and I will be driving to Pensacola for a much needed "sista" time together!

Never fear....I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

BIG Project - Weekend

We got the top rail put up and painted. The walls then got their last coat of paint, including all the boards and top railing.

I really like how it turned out...vision accomplished!

Saturday began with the guys working in the bathroom laying tile. Over all I think it went fairly quickly and without much fuss.

The biggest complaint I heard all day concerned the knee pads and the fact they offered no comfort.

I think the guys did a GREAT job! I know Miss Janice is thrilled the bathroom is finished...sorta! Now it has to dry for 48 hours before we grout it...then finished?

So...since it's 48 hours for the bathroom floor to dry - I felt we really needed to get a coat of stain on the newly sanded bedroom floor. My helpers left earlier and were "napping" when I put out my call for help...they didn't want to come back to the house, so Mike offered to help me stain the floor (even after spending the whole day on the floor in the bathroom.)

Miss Janice and I rolled up the brown paper (we tried to save it in case we need to put it back down on the floor later) and swept the floor really well. Mike got the vacuum and cleaned up the very last of the dust in the crevices of the floor.

Then, the process began. We both had our knee pads and we quickly moved back and forth across the room.

It's not hard work, we just had to make sure the stain went on evenly.

We thought we had enough stain to complete the whole room, but at the very end Miss Janice had to make a Home Depot run to get more stain. We're using Jacobean - which is the same color as the floors throughout the rest of the house.

Didn't take her too long to return with more stain and we completed the room pretty quickly.

I think overall we're all very happy with the results and with the work we were able to accomplish today!

Next week will be a very full week - because next Sunday I'll leave on vacation with my sister! Really looking forward to that. As for tomorrow...day of rest with an afternoon spent by the pool.

Till next week....debi

Thursday, August 6, 2009

BIG Project - Day Whatever....

Big day with many workers coming to the house to accomplish some things that need to happen for the project to move on.

The first worker to arrive was the electrician. He had to snake his way through the entry hall to get to the bedroom.

I was able to get paper down on the newly sanded wood floor before he arrived.

He's working in the bedroom, but the ultimate goal is an outlet in the closet in the bathroom. (The closet will be turned into a small makeup area...so lighting is a must! More on that later...)

This project has caused Miss Janice to turn her life upside down and caused her to reconsider some of the furniture she owns.. Some of the pieces don't fit the overall look and feel of the house anymore so she sending some of these items to a local consignment shop. Three men from the consignment shop were the next to arrive. I'm so glad I had my camera handy...it was like an old 3 stooges movie.
I had to ask the electrician to move his truck back so these guys could have the "primo" spot out front. Instead of just backing the truck up into the spot...one of the men drove the truck around the block and parked right in front so the back door of the truck was at the sidewalk. (Miss Janice lives on a one way street, so to get back to the front of her house you have to go around the block.)
The guys took the entertainment center apart and took the two pieces outside and loaded them into the truck. No problem...I'm thinking, "This will go smoothly." NOT!

The next piece going out to the truck is this huge armoire! I informed the guys that the piece could be taken apart, but no problem...there's 3 of them. As I watched them slide it out onto the porch and head down the stairs, the top began to sway. It's very top heavy and I'm not sure they realized the full weight until they started inching it off the porch. (Keep your eye on their truck!)

They get it to the end of the sidewalk and down one more step. I didn't know what they were discussing at this point, but.....

One of the guys gets in the truck and drives away!

Around the block again and he pulls forward only a little bit more. I'm totally confused...does the truck not back up? Can the guy find reverse? Not really sure what's happening....but they decide it needs to go on it's side on the furniture dolly.

OK...safely on it's side, but the guy in the truck pulls away again...one more time around the block!

He's back...seems to me to be the original parking place, or is it the second parking place? Who knows? Maybe they'll finally put the piece in the truck (they still have 3 other pieces to take out!)

Hey! Where's the guy going with the truck now??? Now he's pulling to the end of the driveway and they begin wheel the armoire down to where he's parked.

Final proof...they eventually got it into the truck! My daughter and I stood on the porch the whole time watching all the happenings....it was toooooo funny! Not really sure what the deal was with the truck, but at least those huge pieces of furniture are gone (and I don't have to move them again!) Great entertainment though! Not sure how cost effective it is to send these men for pick ups?

Last night my husband and I returned to the house to put the top rail onto the walls. They already have a couple of coats of paint on them, but we'll now paint out the whole bottom part of the walls in the bedroom one last coat. All painting will be complete in both rooms...not just waiting for the bathroom floor to be laid so I can stain the bedroom floor.

Since yesterday was a non-painting day...I used the day to sew. I'm also working on recovering Miss Janice's chair cushions for her back deck. (There is activity also happening in the back yard...but I'll let you know the rest of that later!) Here is what the cushions looked like before.

Of course, keeping with her patriotic theme of red, white and blue outside...here is the fabric she chose for the chair cushions. We had to wait on some of the fabric for the back cushions to arrive by mail.

Here is an "after" of the recovered cushions. Each seat cushion is reversible with two different fabrics. The gusset was created with the back cushion fabric. I had enough of the back to "eek" out a ruffle for the top of the back. I think it set it off nicely!

There's a button on the front, just decoration, since Miss Janice loves buttons!

It was dark and rainy last night when I took all the cushions over to show her. Here is how it looks in the chair. (There are four but I gave her the one I had already completed earlier in the week .)

Well, full day today to finish the last of the walls...then tomorrow is another sewing day. We'll start the bathroom floor tomorrow night and hopefully I'll have pictures to show of the floor by Saturday.

Till then....debi