decorating with dodi

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Monday, May 23, 2016

Always Fun

As the grand children are getting older and more and more involved in their own lives with school, jobs, sports, etc, it gets harder and harder to get us all together. We have come to accept the fact that whenever we get get any number of us there, it is a celebration. And so it was this weekend. Our third grand daughter turned 17 this past week and we got together to celebrate her in all of her sweetness. It was prom weekend for grand daughter #2 so their family was missing as was our oldest grand son who was in Crystal River for the weekend and our SIL who was attending an engineering conference. But what we lacked in numbers we made up for in love and laughs. It is always fun!

We're supposed to be singing "Happy Birthday" but by the looks on those two faces, I'm guessing silliness may be occurring!

Only very special people get three birthday cakes-including one very special request for one of Aunt Cyndi's homemade carrot cakes with cream cheese icing! Yummy!!

All this celebrating wears a body out!

And a quick look-see to show where the renovation stands as we speak:

This is the shower. I really wish we had been able to find a way to make it larger but it is what it is. Moving major plumbing and exterior walls was just not in the budget At least I got my double niche and bench. I think once the tile and structureless glass door get put it, it will appear larger and we will be fine! Again, it isn't BLUE! Enough said!!

I got a coat of paint on whatever was there to be painted and it really makes a huge difference. I always loved my brown walls but the new room just calls for something lighter. Because the tiles and granite both have veins of taupes and grays, we thought a white that leaned towards the pale gray might work so we chose Sherwin Williams HGTV "nebulous white". I almost never paint a room white...I like we will see how I do with this. It is definitely lighter and brighter and, since we are going to add some dark, rustic elements to this space, I think it will serve as the perfect backdrop for everything. And, I am doing a little happy dance that I got so much painted before obstacles came in! I will have to really dislike this color A LOT before I will decide to repaint once everything is in its place.

I thought I would show you how our week started and then this will probably be my last post for awhile.

This was the start of many award ceremonies, moving-up ceremonies, award dinners and a high school graduation for us. We will be heading to daughter #1 in St. Pete early on Wednesday morning. I will try to get Harrison's 5th grade "graduation" posted before we leave but, if not, I will have much to share when we get back in June. Stay tuned...and then we are on to the 4th of July decorating...and hopefully the big bathroom reveal!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

It's the "Litle" Things

So by now you know that I am going crazy doing just "little" projects around the house while I keep myself available for construction consultations. Today the electrician is here with the contractor and, I must say, the questions I have been answering were finally things that I really cared about-up to now it has been mostly "behind the scenes" kind of things. I know they were important as well but just not as visible.

And, even though I am doing things that usually wouldn't get me excited, today I am almost giddy with my choice. I have had a pile of "fix-it" kind of projects just getting bigger and bigger. The kids-and my daughters as well if truth be told-think Nana can fix anything. While that is very complimentary, it can also be more a bit intimidating. Since they have so much faith in me, I try hard to please-sometimes successfully, sometimes not so much!

Today I have glued an ear back on a bunny salt shaker, glued a sword back together, glued a wing, hand and ear back on a ceramic dragon painted by my youngest grand daughter (which is still missing another hand but it is apparently nowhere to be found), restitched a seam in hubby's PJ bottoms, reconstructed the hat on a pumpkin pillow that one of the dogs chewed off back in October and sewed on multiple missing buttons from shirts-even though this is supposed to be something that the cleaners would do. Seems they have "missed" seeing the small buttons on the collar so many times that I just gave in and did it myself.

But, the one thing that has me totally frustrated is this little guy:

When my oldest daughter was just a toddler, I made her a complete set of Winnie the Pooh animals for Christmas one year. Most of them were made out of a heavy fabric and have stood the test of time...and attics...and storage PODS...but, this poor guy was made out of a much lighter weight fabric because it was the only fabric I could find that was the color of Kanga back then.

When she first asked me if I could fix him-after she had just unearthed him after her last move and a year in a POD-I thought I could whip stitch her up. I knew she would never look the same again but she would definitely look "loved". But when I tired to take the first stitch, it was evident that this fabric was so brittle that the stitches would just pull right through the edge of the tear.

So my next best bet was to re-enforce the tear with some felt of a matching color and fabric glue it together. Of course, there were bits of the fabric just missing but she is back together-such as it is.

And then, I simply could not ignore the missing stuffing. Can you believe that foam bits were what we used for stuffing way back then? I opened Kanga's back and gave her a fuller face and head using fiberfill this time. I also re-threaded a new piece of elastic through her pouch. I guess after 46 plus years the old one just gave out.

I was also going to give her a new mouth and eye to replace the missing ones but decided to wait on that until I asked my daughter. I had to repair a "blankie" for a grand daughter years ago. It was missing an eye so I bought some new ones, took it apart, replaced the eye and when I was putting it back together, I decided to put on a new blanket binding because the old one was really tattered. I presented the blankie to my grand daughter thinking she would be so happy-and she was. But then, her smile started to slip and I asked her what was wrong. She told me she loved the new binding but she missed the feel of the old one. She used to rub it between her fingers to help fall asleep. I felt horrible but she told me she would get used to the new one-and she did-and it soon became as tattered as the old. But, I learned my lesson and try only to do what I am asked. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!!

O.K. I know. She is FAR from perfect but she IS back together and no longer spilling out foam rubber pieces everywhere! I used fabric glue to put her together and even though it dries clear, this fabric was so brittle that the glue seeped through and is showing up hard and shiny. I wish I could just throw her in the washer and see what happens but I am afraid she will totally disintegrate so it is what it is. I can't wait to return her to her rightful owner next week and see her reunited with Roo.

I am off to get some paint on the bathroom walls. I can't do it all because there is still more drywall and mud to come but if I can get the wall behind the commode before the commode is back in, I will be happy. Stay tuned.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Going Stir Crazy

So as you know, my last post was all about the speed-or lack thereof-at which my bathroom renovation was going. I kind of have to be here because it seems like there are questions every few minutes-apparently there are lots of decisions to be made by someone who really has no idea what she is doing-but, I digress!

In any case, in order to stay available, I am trying to do lots of little jobs that don't require my total, undivided attention and that will keep me relatively presentable-which definitely means gardening is out of the picture. And, one can only fold so much laundry or clean out so many closets without going bonkers. And so in my case, my mind then goes to the next holiday and making preparations.

I bought an extra fence slat the last time I needed one thinking I would make a porch "stander" for the 4th of July. At that time I didn't have a design in mind or I would have gotten a wider board. When I went to draw out my stripes, I realized that the board was too narrow for what I wanted so I made an adjustment or two and got going.

I started by portioning off what will be the field of stars and painting it white.

Then I used my Cricut to cut out three cardstock stars and used spray adhesive to adhere them to the board. I quickly painted all of the rest of the area blue and removed the cardstock to reveal white stars.

I lucked out when I discovered that three widths of my wide painter's tape was exactly the right measurement for my stripes. I put one width down each side and filled the remainder in with white paint.

I pulled the tape off and was pleasantly surprised to find fairly crisp lines. This wood is quite rough-sawn so straight lines are not always possible.

When the white stripe was dry, I taped it off and painted on the red. I will say that while I usually just mask my design and spray paint, this time I am using craft paint and painting it with a brush. I was afraid to try the spray with so much taping off for fear that part of it might shift along the way. Hand painting allows for so much more control but boy does this wood eat up the acrylic paint. I definitely need to make a note to myself to buy more red, white and blue before the kids and I start our 4th crafting!

Then, it was simply a matter of waiting for paint to dry and pulling off the rest of the tape. To finish it off, I wrapped it a number of times with some twine. I am still debating whether I am going to sand it a bit to distress it a little or leave it crisp and clean. We shall see. It's not as if I have to make the decision quickly! Think I might have some time to mull it over! Stay tuned.

"Come In My Little Pretties"

...or as they say, "Rome wasn't built in a day"!

The contractor just finished day number two and still all that is done is a bit of framing, floors leveled, some backer board up and various and sundry other "boring" things! I know that all of this is very important for a good finished project, but I am so antsy to see the fun stuff happen. Tomorrow will be some plumbing-no thrills there-and then maybe we will really get going. In any case, I have answered lots of "where do you want it" kinds of questions so I am still hopeful that we will get there-eventually!

Since the jackhammering didn't get off every bit of tile remnants, a skim coat was used to level the surface. The contractor said he could hand chip the rest of it but we would be covered in yet another thick coat of dust, I opted for this remedy-don't know how much extra it will cost, but, believe me, it will be worth it to minimize dust. The shower drain got moved today and that brought on a whole other coating. Guess it goes with the territory! 

Day 1 saw the wall get framed. I wish we could have gone with all glass on the shower but since we lost the wall on the other side of the room, we needed a bit of wall surface back for towels, decor, etc. I thought it may make the shower area too dark but since we will have a light as well as the the opening at the top of the wall, we will be fine.

Here is where we are after day 2-niches are framed in, all of the wall board that can go up is up (waiting on the plumber and electrician before the rest can get finished).

No longer necessary "stuff" is getting filled in. And, oh yes, two more buckets of ground up concrete-and all of the dust that accompanies them throughout the rest of the house!

Once again I say, "Come in my little pretties". This the kind of stuff I'm waiting for. I have always known I am a "visual" person. I learn by seeing. I am not the inventive type-someone else has to do that and then I am a great "copier". Oh, I can embellish and make changes but the initial thing has to be started by someone else.

Hence the reason I am having so much trouble envisioning this room completed. I know what I like and I decorate a lot on instinct so I am pretty sure we will end up exactly where I want to be but I am trying hard to "get it" on just the first or second try. I just don't have it in me any more to run to ten different stores to compare prices, sizes, finishes, etc.-very UNLIKE a daughter who shall go un-named who would drive all the way to Atlanta for a tub or a door!!!

In any case, my goal for this room is a bit spa-like but with an edge-if that makes sense. I have chosen tiles and granite with a mix of soft beiges and, yes, grays. I am using pretty clean lines-at least for the "clutterish" kind of person that I am. But, I am adding dark stained wood floating shelves over the commode and probably other rustic type accessories as I find them. And then, I wanted that one pop of unexpected "bling" so I chose this sparkly ceiling fixture. It may not be fun to clean but since I don't see all that well these days, it will take a lot before I see the dirt-lol. 

This pile of "pretties" has been most patient. We bought all of that back in March-but, their wait is almost over! All except the stainless tiles. Jen and I both came to the same conclusion about them-just a bit too off the wall for this room. Hope we made the right choice.

In any case, that is where we are. I am not a good "waiter" but I am trying to be patient. Even though we have a really on-the-ball contractor, he is at the mercy of his subs-and so we wait!

At least I'm still in control of these pretties!!


 Ahhhhh! Stay tuned.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

It Takes a Village!

As I was thinking of names for this post, there were so many I could have chosen: "Be Careful What You Wish For", "The Longest Journey Begins With But a Single Step", "There's NO Going Back", etc., etc. But, the one that truly named this project is "It Takes a Village". We could NOT have completed this project without help from our family!

This project has been in my head for years-actually, ever since we re-did the guest bathroom oh so many years ago...unfortunately, there just never seemed to be the time or extra funds to get started-always something else that was a priority. But when the day finally came to "pull the plug" so to speak, I was ecstatic. I have watched home shows ever since "This Old House" came on PBS a zillion years ago. I ALWAYS wanted to do that! And now, I would finally get my chance.

We decided to do our own demolition for a few reasons. Budget was one but it really came down to Jennie and me just wanting to smash some things! And believe me, it IS all that it is cracked up to be. Our plan was for Jen and me to start demo on Friday and then be joined by others on Saturday-we kind of thought this would be a multi-day affair-especially since neither of us had a real clue what we were doing and sort of started out on a wing and a prayer. I had visions of all of the disasters that I have seen on the DIY Network's Renovation Realities show and the little trailers going across the bottom of the screen always starting out "if they had just researched this more on DIY"!!!! In reality, we did fairly well. A lot of common sense plus years of tons of DIY projects prevailed. And then, I was surprised by the arrival of my brother and sister-in-law who apparently just can't get enough of the things I get myself into around here-remember, they were here just a few short weeks ago to slave help us with outdoor projects.

I must say, we NEVER would have gotten this done in one day without their help-and, the foresight of my SIL who came to check on us on his lunch break. He is an engineer but I'm not sure that is what made him realize that we were in over our heads on the ceramic tile floor removal! We were trying to hand pry each tile up and they were coming off in 1/4" pieces-I don't know what the floor guy used when he did this floor many years ago but I know if I ever need to adhere something FOREVER, I will find out what it was. These tiles were going NOWHERE!!!

We were happy-but a little intimidated-to see Elton return a bit later with a "jack hammer" looking tool to help get up the tile. The sad part was that the tool itself was so heavy that none of us other than my brother could wield the thing-hence, he inherited the whole job. And what a job it was!

But, by the end of the day, we were looking at nothing but one HEAVY cast iron tub!!! And no way to get it out. Then Elton appeared again and sledge hammered that thing into two pieces-and even then it weighed a ton! But he got it out of here and today, except for a bit more clean up, pulling some nails, etc., we are DONE and able to give all of the other helpers that were lined up the day off.

So here we were just a day ago:

And here we are right now:

I had been waiting soooo long to do this-so much fun and you really don't even have to be mad at anyone to enjoy it!

If you look carefully you will see my cohort peeking through. We may have enjoyed knocking down walls just a bit too much!

That tool was our salvation! Hard to believe we are actually "shoveling" out my bathroom floor!

Yay!!! It's FINALLY gone.

That hideous striped wallpaper was put in by the builder. It was no time at all before I put in another-that we also found a little piece of-equally hideous I must say and then the third wallpaper concoction was the flowers with border that we found behind the wall cabinet. Wow! What was I thinking??!

In any case, I am off to scrape layers and layers of dust off of my beautiful, once-dark wood bedroom furniture, pull nails from studs and pick up lots of tiles that were left after the tub got pulled. It will be a lot of work but I am actually looking forward to it. I have always told you that I am happiest when I have a project and this is definitely a project! We are moving forward!!! Stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Another Day in the Sun

Our weather was perfect again today so we pretty much spent the ENTIRE day outside. I got all of the side yard trimmed back, the latest 16 bags of mulch laid and all of the new little pretties planted that I found while out and about yesterday.

And, in keeping with my new "clear out and re-purpose what I already have" motto, I also did a little outdoor decorating.

Since I last showed you this new potting area, I have hung the wrought iron rack that was to come down in our master bath reno. It is coming in very handy here holding hanging tools. And, to give the area a bit more height and to kind of disguise that cable cord running into hubby's office, I propped my cathedral window frame. I love the look but am going to keep looking for a really old, beat up window frame to use instead because this window was pretty costly and not really meant for outdoors...and, I think I do actually use it in some seasonal vignettes but right now I really can't remember when!

Of course, the blank area to the right of the bench is bothering me now so I am on the hunt for something to hang there. Thought I might use something that would hold a plant. It will bring some "life" to this area and now that I will be over here more often and have a nice new hose set-up, it won't be a problem to water at all.

The garden area over here has always pretty much just been an azalea and rain lilies so I decided to perk it up a bit as well with more gerbera daisies.

The corner of the garden by our sun room has always been another neglected area simply because it is an area we can't irrigate because of the house foundation and I just don't need any more things to have to tend to EVERY day. But then, I had this old, large, ceramic bowl that we used to use for the base of a fountain and it has just kind of been "hanging around" for several years. Since it was also fairly expensive, I didn't want to just pitch it so I thought I would try a container garden. I filled the bottom with broken clay pots for some drainage and then added a sun-loving hosta and some moss roses. I think I will fill in the rest of the area with some "creeping" filler of some kind.

I put back the birdbath and old watering can for now but this is definitely a work in progress.

Getting very excited-demolition starts on Friday. Once that actually happens I know the project is a go because it will be kind of hard to function without a master bath. And, just think of the photo ops! Stay tuned!