A Peaceful Bedroom

grey and lavenderMy daughter chose a color palette of powder grey, lavender and sky blue for her bedroom’s last makeover. As I mentioned earlier, this would be the fourth makeover since she was five. She’s nearly 18 now and wanted to make her surroundings peaceful and serene. The challenge in redoing this room was that the third makeover had made the walls extremely difficult to paint.

the writing on the wallThis was what I had to cover up. I had at least been smart in that only water-based products had been used on the walls. I had even found water-based Sharpie paint markers so that the writing wouldn’t bleed through the next layer. The biggest problem was covering up the paper images. Apparently, I really glued those things down. So rather than try to remove them, I decided to plaster over them. I have several gallons of various plaster products in my Stash and this was a great opportunity to use them. I’m not going to tell you what I used because they can’t be bought by the general public, and I didn’t use them the way they were supposed to be used and I really don’t want to give you people any ideas.

plaster over sheet musicThis is what I call “artistic experimentation.” I troweled on different products until I found one that gave me the look that I wanted. I ended up giving the walls a skip-troweled finish which I love. It took me a week to get the walls plastered and even. Once it was sanded and level we finally got to paint.

Whomping Willow muralMy daughter is still not ready to let go of the Whomping Willow mural I painted two makeovers ago. It originally looked like this:

Hogwarts mural

Then I transformed it to this:

Harry Potter posterThe idea was to make the mural look like an advertising poster for the Harry Potter exhibit opening at Universal Studios in 2010. One mistake I made was stamping those designs in the corners. I didn’t think about what the ink was made of and when I tried to plaster and paint over them, the ink kept bleeding through. It took about 5 coats, no kidding.

trompe l'oeil muralI didn’t like the raw plaster edges around the mural so I ended up cutting wood trim and attaching it to the edges. The bottom piece of trim actually has a small lip like a ledge. I faux finished the trim to match the mural, added some trompe l’oeil details to the top corners and lightened up the color of the frame so that it complements the wall color better. I’m really happy with how it came out.

thrift store fabric curtainsWe really lucked out on the day we went shopping for curtain fabric. We went to our local DAV thrift store and these sheets were just sitting there, along with a lavender sheet that I used as a dust ruffle.The curtains were cut from one twin size sheet and one queen size. I lined them with two plain white sheets to block out more light. I think I spent less than $20 on all the fabric. The rods and rings are from Target. I made the tie backs from lace, ribbon and fabric snaps out of my sewing stash. I absolutely love how these look on the windows.

wood birdhouseMy daughter got rid of a lot of stuff so that the walls would be sparsely decorated and less busy. This is the first room in the entire house that I haven’t added pattern to the walls in one form or another. It’s a new experience, but I think I love it.

Inventory used: 1 gallon faux stone

 

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The Bathroom Remodel is complete

finished remodelThe remodel of my daughter’s bathroom is finally complete. The studio and the downstairs half of my house is clean and I’m finally at peace. Let’s visit the Before shots for a moment shall we……….

BEFOREI shudder just looking at this. This was the starting point of our unplanned bathroom remodel. In our defense, it was this way when we bought it. But at the same time…..it was this way when we bought it……12 years ago.

ugly bathroom BEFOREThat nasty piece of terry cloth has been hanging there for 12 freaking years! Some model home designer stuck it there in a stroke of brilliance and I chose to ignore it for over a decade. Amazing what one can deny exists in our own homes. Now back to the pretty pictures:

beauty centralFirst thing to go was the wallpaper, which sucked to remove because the walls hadn’t be primed and they installed it right on the drywall. The glue really wanted to stay on forever but we washed it over and over and over and then primed. Dianna went with a great shade of blue on the walls and bright white on the cabinets. We raised the height of the vanity and added some new hardware on the drawers and doors which I love.

wood countertopWe removed the old counter top and tile backsplash and replaced it with a solid wood top and a backsplash made from “clear wood” which I think is code for “plastic with a faux wood veneer.” It’s light weight and cheap but I bought it because I thought it would be a good choice considering the risk of water damage.

Both the top and splash were stained with a Faux Effects product called Stain & Seal and three coats of C-500, a urethane product also from Faux Effects.

Lace flowersI know it looks like I put stickers on the backsplash, but this is a painted detail I swear. I used a Martha Stewart silkscreen design to create this border. This is my first time using a silkscreen. What I liked about it was that I could use much thicker paint than with a stencil, creating a more dimensional design, which is why it looks like a sticker. My daughter loves lace and she chose the design. She also has a connection to my mother through daisies, so she loves having these around.

union jack organizerThis jewelry organizer, complete with Union Jack design is one of our favorite additions. I can not take credit for the design. My friend Melanie created this design on an old IKEA door for a photo shoot, but then didn’t need it afterward so I got to take it home. Being huge fans of all things British, we had to incorporate it somehow. Thanks Melanie!

the new Assmaster 2000The new Assmaster 2000 has been installed and is no longer being crowded by 12 year old terry cloth (so nasty). My daughter decided that a door to the shower area was stupid since she’s an only child and no one walks in on her. She opted for a curtain in the doorway instead. Kind of like a dressing room.

The photo above also shows off the new floor. It’s vinyl planks which are really easy to install and extremely cheap. They look really nice and give the look of wood without having to take out a loan.

cool teen bathroomWe removed the giant sheet of mirror and replaced it with two new mirrors. We paid $15 for each of them but they came with ugly dark brown frames. We made them over with high gloss white spray paint. I filled the gap between them with two shelves I made from the scrap piece of MDF left over from the new footer on the cabinet. We also made over the clock and the light fixture with the high gloss white and they look brand new.

remodel on the cheapSo that’s our little project. We did get rid of some paint and stain from The Stash which is always good. Dianna loves her grown up bathroom and I love having my life back.

Inventory Used: latex paint and Stain and Seal

The Consequences of Home Improvement

remodel debrisI know you’re all having trouble sleeping because you haven’t heard if I finished the bathroom remodel today. “Did she check everything off her yellow legal pad list?” “Did she cave to the whisperings of her couch and watch Downton Abbey all day?” I wish!

I finished the bathroom today. Yay Me! Unfortunately, I finished late in the afternoon and the light isn’t perfect, so I’m going to wait until tomorrow to photograph the remodel in all its glory, and believe me, it’s glorious.

studio disasterWhat’s tempering my enthusiasm is the fallout from 2 1/2 weeks of working on this project…….aka: my studio is a disaster. For the last two weeks I have been completely focused on finishing this project which means things like putting stuff away, throwing stuff away, dusting, washing, cleaning, showering, etc. have definitely fallen by the wayside. That ends tomorrow.

Tomorrow, after the photos are taken and before the congratulatory Starbuck/Barnes & Noble outing, the studio will have to be cleaned. I actually love this part of the process. It brings me back to center, back from crazy, manic, I’ll kill anybody that gets in my way girl.

The truth of the matter is, three weeks ago my daughter told me about all her plans for her final year in high school. I tried to picture her getting ready for each day in a bathroom with primary striped wallpaper and a vanity made for a toddler. The same bathroom she’s had since she was five. I know it’s a first world problem, and I’m not going to cure cancer, but at the very least, and I mean the very least, I wanted to give her a grown up bathroom, so she could grow up. I think in this bathroom, she will start to see the beginnings of the woman my whole family knows she is becoming. Go get ’em Dianna! We’re right behind you.

How do you know when you’re done?

I think I’m one day away from being done with the (unplanned) remodel of my daughter’s bathroom. It’s turning out beautifully, but I’m not posting photos because I’m not done. How do you know when you’re done? When everything on the yellow legal pad has a check mark next to it, you’re done. At least that’s what my dad taught me. Another thing I’ve learned from my dad……invest in yellow legal pads. Sometimes the list has to be revised.

Do you know why people in the middle of a remodel underestimate when the project will be finished? Because they remember only the big things like replacing the counter, but forget the small things like filling in nail holes. Small things add up to a lot more time than you’d like to believe.

Our bathroom remodel is what most people would call, “finished,” but I’m not done working in there. I mean, my daughter brushed her teeth and used her new Assmaster 2000 before she left for school this morning, but I was still down on my hands and knees in there all day.

Here’s the list of piddly sh*# that’s on my yellow pad for tomorrow:

  1. clean electrical outlets (covered in paint)
  2. clean window screen (nasty)
  3. install shelves
  4. install hooks, jewelry holders and art
  5. clean window blinds and install
  6. clean and install vent covers (still covered in wallpaper)
  7. install carpet trim pieces
  8. caulk toilet
  9. clean floors and mirrors

None of this stuff is noteworthy, but this is the stuff that’s between me and the moment when I take pictures and scream, “I’m done!” This moment will be closely followed by an even greater moment involving a Grande Latte at Starbucks and a magazine purchase at Barnes & Noble. (I know, I’m such a cheap date) Anyway, that’s what I’m doing here…..trying to get the last few chores off my yellow legal pad. Photos will follow when there are nine check marks on my legal pad. Wish me luck……..or send more legal pads…….only the yellow ones, the white ones don’t work.

The New Assmaster 2000 is Here!

The Assmaster 2000Today we welcomed a new addition to our family……a brand new Assmaster 2000. This will be our second Assmaster. We’re still happy with our first one that’s in the guest bath, that is, except for it’s tendency to rip the skin off your thighs if you stand too close when you’re flushing it. It’s better than liposuction.

The unplanned bathroom renovation is moving along at a fairly steady pace, regardless of my wishing I was doing something else. The paint is done on the walls and the cabinets. The new floor is down and I’m happy with it……..happy that I’m done with it! The baseboards are painted and I’ll put those in tomorrow. The counter top turned out beautifully and we’ve figured out the backsplash today so that will get done tomorrow…or the next day. I sanded and refinished the light fixture and it looks cool and modern rather than rusted and cheap. So, it’s moving along, but there’s still a lot on the list if we’re going to complete it before my daughter starts back to school……..in 6 days. No pressure!

awesome wood paletteBONUS: The Assmaster was delivered on a wood palette and the delivery guy said I could keep it. Awesome! He actually said, “I’m sure you don’t want the palette so I’ll take that away………….(long pause)…….or maybe you DO want it.” I say, “you mean, I can keep it?” Needless to say, I’m the proud owner of a trashed palette with touches of old blue paint. So exciting! I’m sure the boards will find it’s way into something cool like this:

message centerI use salvaged boards in all my message centers and craft organizers, so you’ll see this palette artfully rearranged soon. Don’t forget…….everything in both my Etsy shops (Salvaged Sanity and Destashio) is on sale through the end of the month. Use the coupon code: XMAS20 to receive a 20% discount on all your purchases. Only a few days left till the prices get put back to normal, so buy your favorites NOW!

Snowballs: Where they come from and how to avoid getting hit

blank canvasWorking as a decorative paint contractor for 14 years gave me the opportunity to observe snowballs and their victims up close and personal many times. Snowball victims almost always survive but they don’t get away completely unscathed. They walk around with that shocked, “How did I get here?,” look on their face. The photo above shows my daughter’s bathroom right before I got hit.

To be fair, I believe it’s my fault we got hit. This project was supposed to only involve a change in the wall color…….and then we went to Lowe’s. I found a flooring product that I liked and could afford at under $50 for the whole room. I thought it was a smart purchase.

The next day my husband’s told me he had made his own smart purchase when he said, “I ordered a new toilet. I figure if you’re going to replace the floor, we might as well upgrade the toilet.” The purchase of a new Assmaster 2000 let me know……..the snowball is now rolling.

removing the backsplashThe next shove came when he walked in on me trying to paint around the mirror. He offered to pull it off to make it easier. That was the critical error. When the mirror came off and he looked at the backsplash he realized it probably wouldn’t take that much work to remove both the tile and the counter. My daughter had requested that whenever we decided to replace the counter, could we raise the counter height to an adult height. This bathroom was created for children and the height is 3 inches lower than a standard counter. We had planned on replacing the counter sometime this year, but yesterday it became sometime this week. The snowball is rolling quickly now.

countertop removalMy husband is amazing and what would have taken me a couple days and a few trips to the chiropractor took him less than a couple hours. So now we have to replace the countertop, the backsplash, and while we’re at it, have the giant mirror cut and put in to two frames to make it prettier. The snowball is flying now.

raising the cabinetFortunately we had the perfect boards to raise the cabinet. This simple effort created an even bigger snowball because I will have to add a piece of wood at the bottom to cover the gap and since this was painted by the builder and I don’t have that color I’ll have to paint the cabinet. I hate painting cabinets. Fu*#king snowball!

wood countertopI decided that the cheapest and quickest way to put in a new counter would be to use a nice piece of wood. I’ll stain it and put on a really good top coat. I’m going to make the backsplash out of wood as well but I’ll add some decorative detail to it.

So what started as a small paint job has snowballed into a complete remodel including new floors, a new toilet, new mirrors, a new countertop and back splash and a freshly painted cabinet. Huge snowball.

How do you avoid snowballs?

Don’t touch the floor!

Intermission: brought to you by The Universe

I apologize for no photos accompanying this post, but I didn’t want any physical reminders of this day, that is, except for this post.

You ever have one of those days when the world tries to stop you from doing something productive over and over again, but you just keep trying to push forward? That’s the kind of day I had today. But before that…..let me fill you in on yesterday.

Yesterday my daughter and I removed the remaining wallpaper in her bathroom. Huge mess, but at least it was off. We spent the rest of the day scrubbing the walls to get all the leftover glue off the walls. Totally sucked. Dianna had no idea what she had gotten herself into, she scrubbed her fingers raw, but let’s just say she’ll probably never apply wallpaper anywhere unless she knows she will love it forever, like a tattoo. It’s so painful to remove it. Honestly…..I’d rather have a tattoo removed off my inner thigh than pull off wallpaper. Wallpaper sucks.

So back to today.

This is how it was supposed to go: paint one coat, take a shower, eat lunch, walk the dog, paint the second coat. Totally achievable.

This is how it actually went: I spent all morning pulling off baseboards, patching holes, and sanding rough spots but I wanted to start painting so badly that I started even though I was famished. So I’m shaky, but painting, on this stupid two-step ladder. (I’m working on a two-step ladder because I can’t find my three-step ladder. I say, “I can’t find,” but what I really think is “someone stole my three-step ladder.” My husband can’t fathom why someone would steal a ladder out of our garage. He swears I’ve misplaced it. How can you misplace a ladder in your home and not be able to find it? It’s not a set of keys, it’s a freakin’ ladder!) This is all beside the point…….the point is, the two-step ladder is one step short and my neck is killing me. Like I can’t open my mouth because me neck is so tight.

We started painting, only to see that glue on drywall is invisible, that is, until you apply paint………then you can really see it. Apparently, even though we scrubbed those walls for four hours, there’s still glue on them. So we tried to wipe it off as we painted. Totally sucked. If that wasn’t enough, we were running out of paint. Since I bought the primer/paint before I knew that I’d be dealing with drywall mud and not a primed surface, I hadn’t bought enough to account for the product soaking in to the mud. Slow going to say the least. I still hadn’t even taken a shower……….nasty!

…..We broke for McDonald’s.

When I checked the paint after lunch it had miraculously become beautiful…….finally a good sign. So I ran to the store to get more since it had all become one with the joint compound. I get to the counter and a sign on the counter says, “We are sorry to inconvenience you, but both our paint machines are broken.” Are you fu*#king kidding me?

So…..I quit. It’s the Universe’s fault.