Friday, February 26, 2010

Now that's a crate idea!

I love the creativity that goes into re-purposing things like the crates in this kitchen.

They make really interesting bookshelves too.

If only I were this organized.

This is probably a little more my speed.

This is my crate. 
I got it from my grandparents who've had it for years.  (Anheuser-Bush?  Grandpa!  Or should I say, grandma???)
I'm currently using it to hold magazines, and while that keeps the magazines neat and orderly, I'm thinking I need to do something a little more creative with it.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Lazy days of winter.

Do you know what this is?

Yep, it's a chess set.

My eleven year old daughter took these pictures with my junky, on the fritz camera (which will hopefully be replaced with a big girl camera soon. I hope!!!)  Not bad, huh?  It was her first time too.

We've all been playing a LOT of chess between naps.

These two always have this effect on eachother.
Look at those little feet all kicked out.

I'd say she's pretty relaxed.

I've been working on making curtains for my bedroom.

It's a white on cream damask.

One of these days I'll get them finished and show you the final product.

The kids and I are getting anxious for spring since we started a bunch of vegetables and, hopefully, deer resistant flowers.  Is there such a thing?

And speaking of spring...everyone here in the Midwest knows that spring is tornado season so Jeff and I will be building a tornado shelter in the next couple of weeks. (I hope, I hope I hope!)  I don't want to risk being tornadoed off to Oz and have to spend the rest of my days living with flying monkeys!

Sunday, February 21, 2010


"Fireplace makeover make do."

This picture was taken the night we moved in.  It hurts to look at it doesn't it?  The fireplace isn't "hooked up" yet.  It still needs a flue so we didn't bother to finish that wall.  We bought the fireplace off of Craigslist for $320 which was a steal of a deal.  It's huge and never been used.  It does have a big ding in it but it's nothing a little bondo can't fix.  Anyway, after having to look at it like it is for the past few weeks, I decided to try to disguise it.

The first thing we did was don our acorn hats and head out into the woods to hunt down some wild grape vines to make a wreath.

Then I took a big, brassed colored, plastic framed mirror that I've had since I was seventeen that I painted white a couple of years ago and I smudged some teal paint into its nooks and crannies.

Then I sanded off a little of the white paint to expose the faux brass.  Then decided it needed a little more brass color so I lightly topped off the high spots with a little gold paint.

I hung some of my old curtains on a few nails, as well as the wreath and mirror and threw up some cute pictures of my babies and an ugly clock that I've also had since I was seventeen and here it is...

Quick, go back and look at the before picture.  I promise it makes this one look better.

Hopefully this will tide me over until we get around to finishing it.  A few of the materials included in my plans for it include rusted sheet metal, painted pressed tin, wood and my hot and handy husband.

Here's a little bit of my inspiration:

Country Living

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I won these nesting crates!

Look what just arrived in the mail. 

Do you recognize these?

That's right, there the same nesting crates that Kevin and Layla Palmer have in their super cute Lettered Cottage kitchen!

A week or so ago, they hosted a giveaway for Sarah who has an etsy shop called Whitewash Sundries and I won!!!

Sarah has a lot of pretty goods in her shop.  I hope you take a look.

And take a look here if you'd like to see how Layla has used these crates in her beautiful kitchen.

Pretty huh? 
They even smell like herbs.  Seriously!

I can't wait to hang them.  I think I'll start by hanging them in the bathroom since that's the first room we're trying to finish.

Thank you Sarah and The Lettered Cottage!  Thank you!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pine wood floors in the bathroom

Aside from a few necessary projects here and there, we've decided to focus on one room at a time.  It's a way to get quicker gratification which is motivation for us to keep going.  Within a couple of weeks of moving into our very much unfinished cottage, we started to feel pretty overwhelmed at all of the work left to do.  Because we need showers and other fully functional bathroom plumbing more than we need to eat, we decided to try to finish the bathroom before any of the other rooms including the kitchen.  We've done a few things along the way, all over the house, like a kitchen sink and dishwasher, but our main focus is going to be the bathroom.  Now that I've announced that to the world, the bathroom is most likely fixing to come to a screeching halt.  That seems to be how it usually goes.  Murphy's law.

Jeff finished the shower surround last weekend and then, within just a couple of hours, he laid the pine wood floor too!  We decided to go with pine for a few reasons.  All of them good.

First thing we did was get down a half a dozen 1"x12"x14' boards from our stash upstairs and take them outside where Jeff began bossing me around yelling things like, "You grab that end of the stack and lets carry them waaaaayyyy, way, over to the barn!"  Then he snorted, "What do you mean they're too heavy?!"  Followed by, "One at a time?!" Then he hefted them down the hill all by himself while I followed him to the barn and gently reminded him that he married a woman, not a man, and he might as well have asked me to hold a car up while he changed a tire real quick and that he was eventually going to be the death of me and that sometimes I wonder if he wished I were a man so he could yell out crazy demands at me that wouldn't sometimes make me cry like, "I need the wrench, those are curved-jaw pliers" because how would he feel if I asked him to pass me my egg beaters and he handed me a whisk.  I wouldn't say anything to him, I'd just improvise, make do and just appreciate that he was helping me.  Then I told him that I was going to tell everyone in blogland how mean and bossy he could be and then everyone would find out what he was really like.  Then I asked him nicely to hold still while I took his picture. 


He's so sweet. 

As I mentioned earlier, these boards are 1x12's but actually they're more like less than 1 by11 1/4's.   We wanted various widths of boards so we cut about two thirds of the boards into roughly 7" and 4" wide strips and the other third of the boards, we cut down the middle to make them roughly 5 1/2" wide.

Then Jeff cut out the knot holes and any knots that looked like they would be a problem for us down the road.  This also gave us varied lengths to work with which adds to the look and texture of the finished floor.

Normally he would have used the chop saw for this, but it was extremely cold outside and Jeff has a very steady hand so they all turned out straight anyway.

Once he got them cut, he began laying them down and nailing them in.  Precisely cut lengths were not necessary on all of the boards because most of them end under the tub and will eventually be covered.

We have radiant floor heat so he had to choose a nail length that wouldn't go through the subfloor and pierce any of the water filled pex tubing.   I'll have to do a post about our radiant floor heating system sometime.  I know that sounds boring but I'm sure there are a few people who might be curious about it and it is WONDERFUL! 

Now it's ready for stain.

We chose Minwax Early American.  It's brown.  Not reddish or yellowish brown, just brown.

Then a day later we sealed it.  Because pine is so soft we went with a low gloss, penetrating sealer.

And here it is.  It's a bad picture but all my pictures are bad, I assume you're used to it by now.
The room still has a ways to go, but we took some big leaps towards the finish line last weekend.

My Backyard Eden

The Shabby Chic Cottage

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Bath surround is done!

Country Living
Isn't this a beautiful bathroom?  I love the creative use of the fireplace mantel and all of the painted pressed tin.  I had an antique claw foot tub once.  I love how romantic they look.  Look being the operative word.  They really are made to only fit one adult person at a time.  That's fine though.  I'm more of a shower person.  Also preferably one person at a time.  Sorry shnookums.  (Don't feel bad for him...we have five kids (although he would say we have a one-hundred percent success rate.  Ha!))  That's my V-Day contribution.

Moving on... 
 Country Living
I also ♥love♥ this blue cabinet.  We're currently making due by using a couple of bookcases for bathroom storage, but we designed it to be deep enough to hold a piece of storage style furniture.  While looking for more inspiration I came across Car Moebel, a German furniture and housewares company.  It was filled with eye candy!  Here's a little sample of what I found there.

I'd gladly put anyone of these pieces in my bathroom.
  Look at some of the other beautiful things they sell.
These things make me even more eager for Spring.

Mm, mm, mm.

Jeff finished the surround last night by making a hole with a hole saw for the shower faucet and caulking everything in.

Now guess what he's working on right now.  The floor!  We're going with a wood floor in there and I'll be sharing that with you all soon.

Be sure to visit The Inspired Room to see some great inspiration!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Galvanized corrugated metal shower surround

Update:  Please click here for more information about our shower surround.

We started our shower surround project a while back but Jeff decided he wanted to redo it. He's a perfectionist which translates into, "Let's do this as many times as we can."

Actually, he decided to add flashing in the corners to help protect the pine from the water. We wouldn't want water to get behind the metal and start growing mold. No, no, no. So, we took down what we had up and started over.
First we cut strips of this white pvc wood trim to fit around the perimeter of the tub.  We cut it to also fit the depth of z channel. 

This is the z channel.  It will sit on top of the plastic wood trim and work as a water barrier.

Now for the flashing.  We didn't use actual flashing, but roof ridge left over from our roof.  Jeff just bent it into a 90° with his big ol' man hands and cut off that rippled piece on the edges with tin snips.

Then he screwed them up to the wall with stainless steel screws.

Now, as we speak, he's screwing up panels of galvanized corrugated metal.  It looks like it's going to get finished sometime today so now I need a pretty shower curtain and a light fixture and we need finish the front of the tub (it's still completely open) and then we need to etc just never ends, does it?

I'll show you the finished results in sometime in the next couple of days.

Check out Make your Monday at Twice Remembered Cottage.
                 Metamorphasis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch