Monday, March 30, 2015

Granite and Hemlock

Our granite was installed last week.  We chose a matte black called Black mist from India.
It has a leathered finish which feels so, so soft.

One of the main reasons we wanted a solid surface counter top (Corian was more expensive than granite.  What?) was for the undermount sink.  I really wanted runnels (a drainboard, basically) cut into the counter to drain right into that undermount sink, but they would have cost $450.  Too expensive. Sigh.

Here is our appliance garage--blender, toaster, crock pot, etc. will be stored here, and hidden away when not in use.  (The cabinet guy lifted the cabinet a bit for easier granite installation.  That is why the outlets aren't centered.  They will be.)

See how nice it looks when it is closed?  Quick clean up!

Along with the sink installation, the granite guys needed to cut a hole for my cook top.
Just look at that beauty, would you?!  For a number of reasons, I decided to go with induction rather than gas.  I love the smooth surface and it is 36" so I'll have much more room for the big pots required to feed my family.

As if that wasn't enough, our doors are here!

The installation is happening right now.

The Bathtub Saga

Last summer, we bought a claw foot tub off of Craig's list.  It had been used as a watering trough for horses for 20 years, but they didn't need it any more . . . for whatever reason.

I took a "before" photograph, but can't find it.  This is after lots of paint removal.  Like hours of paint removal.  I was told not to use a chemical stripper because it is nearly impossible to remove entirely off of cast iron.  So, I, and some of my helper children (in fancy church dresses, of course) used a wire brush to sand and sand and sand away the layers of rust and white, pink and lavender paint.

Eventually, we got it looking like this.  Whew!

You can see that there were lots of rough issues with the iron.  There were also some extra holes I didn't want in the tub any longer.

 I patched them up and sanded and sanded and sanded some more!

Then I sprayed on some primer to stop the rust!

The exterior doesn't hold water, so restoring the outside wasn't intimidating, just tedious.

 It was after we flipped it over that I began to sweat about my project.
Those holes that I patched from the outside, now needed to be beautified on the inside!

There were also some issues from being over 100 years old and living in a barn for the the last 20+ years.

 All of the nicks and scratches and rust spots needed to be carefully filled and sanded.
Then it sat because it was too cold to spray it outside and it would have been in the way inside the new house.

After the mud/tape/texture was done, my strong boys and a couple of their friends hauled the tub inside . . . where it has been sitting for a couple of months, pleading with me to get brave.

I'm not usually intimidated by DIY projects.  It may be hard, it may stretch my stamina or learning, send me to experts for advice or have me reading forums and watching YouTube videos, but this project was definitely intimidating!  
Everything I read or watched, every person I talked to, told me to forget it.  This was a job for professionals (very expensive professionals), not a girl who didn't know what she was doing.
But, alas, it had come down to the wire and I needed to bite the bullet and do it.
With borrowed tools and expensive paint, I began.

I used an epoxy primer and did several light coats until I thought it looked beauteous.

More deep breaths and it was time to paint.
I bought acrylic urethane automotive paint, which is what the internet suggested.
Everyone told me painting with auto paint is hard.
With a great deal of trepidation and a furrowed brow, I began.

And I did it!
A new (old) claw foot tub for less than 20% of the cost of a brand new one.

A restored claw foot tub will be so pretty in my new bathroom and it is deep enough to actually soak in the water.
WaaHoo!!  I did it!!

Now, no one ever gets to take a bath in it because I will bawl if it starts to flake or peel once it has water inside. ;)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Our Patches

 Three and a half years ago, we found ourselves a sweet and hyper little Springer Spaniel puppy.
We named him Patches.

 We had waited a long time for a dog because our tiny neighborhood lot wasn't big enough for the children, much less a dog.  When we finally relocated to a bit of land, finding our puppy was a first order of business.

He was a beautiful dog with the softest coat.

He was so good with the children, always wanting to be in on the action. Patches loved hikes, playing in the snow, swimming in the lake and every other kind of outdoor play.

 He was funny, too.  Especially when he slept.  He talked in his sleep and it always made us laugh.

 He was kind of like a spazzy kid and didn't slow down much. 
But every once in a while, he would cuddle right up.

 After the youngest started eating, Patches was his constant companion.  He knew right where the tastiest bits of forbidden food were going to be handed to him!  Patches also knew the giant hugs that would come from his little buddy--hugs, or laying on the dog's back, they did both.

Patches always came when I called, he jumped out of his skin to greet us when we came home, protected our family and made me feel safe in this out-of-the-way place.  He was a happy dog who, in his fourth year, was finally beginning to settle down.  

Unfortunately, Patches also ate everything in sight.  Yesterday afternoon, as far as we can tell, he ate something that he shouldn't have.  The sharp object caused internal bleeding that was severe enough that he could not be saved.  Patches really tried to get better, but his body eventually gave out.  
Right at the end, he looked at me and made a sound like, "I'm sorry, Mom."  
You dang dog; why couldn't you just stick to your dog food?!  
We sure loved you. 

We thought we had 10 more years with him and he hadn't been sick a day in his life. His unexpected death has been quite a shock.  We will always love our hyper, loving, beautiful boy.
Goodbye, Patches.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Every Thing in its Place

Something like forever ago (Ah, Pinterest keeps track.  It was 3 years ago.), I discovered this product:

I thought it was a fantastic idea, so I bought some for my new house.
We installed them over the weekend.  In reading the installation packet, we discovered that the doors could be stained with a gel stain!
Since we had gel stain leftover from staining our fiberglass front door, we decided to try it.

Not a bad result!
We then painted on two coats of Helmsman Spar Urethane to protect the stain from being scratched off.

After they were fully dried, we just put the doors on their hinges in their new happy homes and

This one is in the girls' bathroom.

Open the door and it holds the stuff you need.  
I'll need to get cleaner and air freshener.

It is the little things!

All but finished with floor tile.
Here is a sneak peek at my next two weeks . . .

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Prom and Laundry Room Shelves

Last weekend was prom for our boy.  

Our area has a Clean Prom that is separate from the school proms.  Everyone dresses modestly, the tickets aren't outrageously expensive, and the music and dancing are clean.

These four friends rode together.  They went to dinner before the prom and Isaac said he couldn't believe the response.
So many people stopped them on the sidewalk or came up to their table at dinner.  Every single one commented on how beautiful the girls were in their modest dresses.

My husband and I have been out to dinner on a school prom night and have seen many young people all dressed up for their dance.  The girls don't know how to walk in their shoes or sit in their dresses.  Most of all, however, they are dressed like, (I'm sorry to use the word, but here goes) sluts.
It IS refreshing to see girls who are beautiful in their coveredness.

Anyway, they had a great time, stayed out late, enjoyed their friendships and ate great food.
It was fun for the five women in Isaac's life to help him get ready.  I watched a bunch of YouTube videos and learned how to make a wrist corsage, we smelled cologne, offered tips and fiddled with hair.

Not bad for a first try.  Looked better on Alyssa!
The 9 year old gave the best advice:  No bathroom jokes.

On another front, our laundry room now boasts incredibly useful stainless shelves!
I can't wait to fill those babies with individualized sock baskets, laundry detergent, Windex, paper towels, and who knows what the heck else!

This corner of the laundry room cabinetry was left open intentionally.  It will house rolling laundry carts,
but I have a feeling those will be pulled out frequently.
Our little boy has claimed this perfect spot as his own!

Tile pictures coming soon . . .

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Cabinets and More

So, one day, these showed up.

I'm not going to lie.  I got a little misty-eyed.
Several times that day.
And maybe a few times on subsequent days.

When the house is all finished, I'll give you a detailed tour . . . and there are many delightful details!
  For now, though, you can get a good idea.

From the beginning, I wanted a wood grain to disguise my skilled housekeeping, so we went with quarter-sawn oak.  The color is based off a gorgeous antique secretary in my mother-in-law's house.
My son unwittingly gave the best compliment when, with a curled lip, he said, "It looks like an old house, now."
YES!  That's what we're going for!

After having a butcher block counter in our last house, I knew I wanted one here as well.
I absolutely love how they feel and don't mind that they get dinged up in their use.
On the perimeter, though, we want something that holds up better to water and heat.
We wanted a solid surface counter (Corian), but granite turned out to be cheaper!
We are going with a matte granite because I like it. It is called Black Mist.

Also, the shower pan is taking shape and tiling starts today.

Exciting stuff!