Thursday, November 25, 2010

Window Treatment

Last weekend I pulled out my trusty hem tape and the material I bought soooo long ago for the curtains in the kitchen and set to work making a valance for the window in the kitchen. Remember this poor lonely window that looks out on the backyard?

Well it was look a little bit pathetic and left out of the new kitchen reno so I decided it was time to make something pretty to spice it up. I had just bought a new roll of hem tape and had picked up a different brand thinking meh they are all the same. BIG mistake!!!! Apparently the brand I picked up this time (from Walmart) only works with the iron set to SUPER STEAMY. Alas my iron is old and does not cooperate very well on steam... in fact the water boils inside and then starts to bubble out of the steam holes getting the material and everything around wet! VERY annoying!!! BUT I was being stubborn and determined to get this curtain done so I worked around my irons inabilities. And within an hour I had this lovely little valance hanging in the window. I opted for a super short valance because now I have JUST enough fabric left over to make long curtains for the big window in the kitchen!

Isn't it cute!!

I'm off work tomorrow which is VERY exciting for me because I've had a crazy exhausting week and I plan on getting a bunch of Christmas crafts out of the way tomorrow!! I may even share a few with you next week. This weekend = installing heated flooring in the basement bathroom and dry packing the shower floor and possibly taping and mudding the drywall... Not sure how much we'll get accomplished this weekend.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Keeping Warm

Last week my company had a warehouse sale where we sold a bunch of the furniture from our model suites and all of the proceeds were donated to charity. Now the furniture we use to furnish our model suites is top of the line stuff and it was being sold (for the most part) at ridiculously low prices. I went and took a peak on Thursday not expecting to find anything... overall on Thursday when I left I was slightly disappointed... mind you we really don't need ANYTHING for our tiny house... we need to get rid of a bunch of things (anyone want some dressers???). ANYWAY, that night my sister in law called me asking if they had any electric fireplaces at the sale. And I thought about it and realized there had been 3 of the same type of fireplace and I had looked at it but couldn't see a price tag and had just assumed it was well out of my price range for something that I didn't REALLY need. They asked me to go back Friday and check it out for them. SO I went back on Friday and was SHOCKED at the price tag!!! 2 of the 3 fireplaces were already taken and there were plenty of people interested in the 3rd one. As I waited for a call back from my sister in law I made a spur of the moment decision and bought it anyway thinking if they didn't end up wanting it I would 100% be able to use it in our basement to heat things up down there (its not insulated and has no radiators... which = COLD). Yes eventually we would like to insulate the basement BUT that means MORE renos and there is only so much we can do before the baby comes. SO I bought the fireplace and about 2 minutes after my sister in law called to say they didn't want it as it doesn't really go with their stuff, which is true.. its VERY modern looking, but for our basement it will be perfect.

Enough with this blabbering story... This is our new fireplace that we scored for a whooping $200. Yes that is correct!!! I would like to note that it is about 4 feet tall and about 5 feet wide... so its a big fireplace!! (This is a picture of it at the warehouse... I haven't gotten a picture of it in the basement yet as there is sooooo much furniture all over the place in the basement because of the renovations... but take my word for it, it looks AMAZING in the basement)

It is in mint condition, the only thing it is missing is the remote BUT the on/off switch is right on the front so it isn't a big deal. I LOVE IT!!

Now just to make this story better... I did this all without consulting Ryan... oops! I was SOOO afraid all afternoon that he was going to be so mad and make me sell it (can't return it obviously). When I got home I showed him my purchase and sneakily asked him how much he thought the fireplace was at full price and how much he would have paid for the fireplace... both of his responses were WAY more than what #1 I paid for or #2 I would EVER pay for it. SO I happily informed him I only spent $200 on it and he was shocked and SO happy!! heehee!! I was sneaky, I knew if I had told him I had spent $200 right away he would have been upset that I bought something we totally don't need just because it was on sale... :-) We didn't get it set up until later on Saturday but he LOVES how it looks downstairs and so do I!!! I can't wait till the basement bathroom is done so I can work on cleaning up that basement so we can ACTUALLY use it!!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The End of the Wall Decals

I FINALLY got around to finishing up the wall decals in the nursery. If you remember here I had spacing issues when I put up my original wall decals. Well those spacing issues got worse when I realized I had to move the change table about 4 inches to the left in order to be able to access the drawers on the right side without the door hitting the radiator box. This left 2 small openings for animals. Now I hummed and hawed over which animals to do and I REALLY wanted to do a hippo (like Kim suggested) BUT I discovered I didn't have enough room between the monkey and the elephant or on the left of the monkey. So I put the project aside and thought some more. Then last weekend I came across my original templates for the decals in the tree (bird and gecko) and thought hmm that would work!!! So I pulled out my fabric remnants and went to work! I love the outcome!!!! Go here to see how I made these decals.

I love that the monkey is feeding the bird... Ryan's favourite after work thing to do is to take a walk down to the lake and feed the ducks. Hopefully the blueberry will love to feed the ducks and swans as well!!!

I'm hoping to get this nursery 100% finished by the end of next weekend!!! All that is left is the pain in the butt radiator box...Stay tuned for the big makeover reveal!

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Light at the End of a LONG Tunnel

This weekend I started to be able to see the light at the end of the dark basement bathroom tunnel... literally. Dave and Ryan worked all day Saturday getting the drywall and concrete board up so that Dave could hook up the pot lights so they wouldn't have to use a spot light anymore!!! Its such a HUGE change to be able to have lights in there without hooking up an extension cord to a lamp!! This was probably more exciting to me than the drywall!!!
This is the progress they made on Saturday! (the yellow board is the concrete board and the tile will go up the walls that far, and the other is the drywall, the entire shower is done in concrete board as well)

The wall that the vanity and toilet will go on.

The shower with its own pot light.

The small slit on in the yellow board is where a grate is going to go so the radiator heats up the bathroom. And above that, the hole is the last remaining piece of drywall that needs to be done... but at this point the guys were tired and dinner was ready to eat!

This is looking from the shower to the other end of the bathroom. See we have 2 light switches, the first is for the lights in the toilet/sink area and the second is for the light in the shower. There will be a third switch for the heated flooring as well. Below that the holes there are #1 for an outlet in the bathroom and #2 I believe is for the thermostat for the heated flooring. Then on the wall to the right is where the 2 vanity lights will go with a mirror in between.

And this is the doorway and eventually we will have some type of door... I'm still hoping for this type that I mentioned in a previous post. But Ryan wants to use the door we already have... so I may incorporate the door we have into that type of a design...

This is a huge improvement on the muddy hole this was about a month ago... alas now its a dusty nightmare!!! But when dealing with drywall its always going to be super dusty!! At least we have radiators so the dust is contained in the basement!!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Updating The Waterfront!

My parents have a cottage up north that during the summer they basically live there. Ryan and I spend as much time as possible up there because its so relaxing and fun!! My parents decided to update the waterfront at the cottage to prepare for their future grandchildren (well I think this was also something they wanted to do anyway but the design definitely was so they could watch their grandchildren play in the water from the shore and not have to sit on the dock).

This is what the waterfront looked like before the work was done. (The dock is out of the water but would have been off the bottom concrete step)

And this is the new gorgeous stone waterfront!!! The whole point is so they can put chairs on the second platform area to watch what is going on by the lake.

I believe this is a sand box for the kids.. BUT I could be wrong and it could be a garden for plants... I don't remember anymore.. either way its going to look GREAT!!!!!

My mom admiring the work!

Doesn't it look fabulous!!!! I can't wait till the summer when I will be living up there with the blueberry for most of the summer since I will be on maternity leave.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Goodbye Ugly Gold Brass... Hello Lovely Silver!

I have hated the knobs on our credenza... they were a peeling brassy gold and they didn't go with ANYTHING in our living room. Ryan and I had been talking about buying some new knobs and then one day last week while starring at the TV I was like HEY why don't we just spray paint them like we did the kitchen knobs!!! I have no problem with the shape as they are simple and round I just hated the colour of them!! Now Ryan got so excited to spray paint that before I could take a picture of the knobs (pre-paint) he had them removed and already primed!! This is the best I could find of the credenza before (side view of it below on the left). See how the handles are blah and nothing special. Now this is just my preference but I love the look of Silver/White Gold... I'm not a yellow gold or a brass person ... that's just my personal preference!!

So using the same technique we used for the kitchen knobs (you can view that here) as well as the same spray paint (Tremclad Primer and Tremclad Hammered finish silver spray paints) Ryan primed and painted the knobs. In fact he did a fantastic job, he was funny... he kept asking me if he was doing it right!!!
They are now much more us and a lot less 1970's goldy brass.
Don't they look great on the credenza! they now pop out and pull the silver from the rest of the room together!! I should mention the handles to the french doors are silver, the front door knob is silver and everything else in the room is pretty much silver. Other than the handles to our new coffee table drawers... which MAY get a coat of paint too... haahaa!!

Now after we finished and LOVED the result we realized we forgot to paint the matching knobs on the matching desk in the office!! OOPS!!! So the desk in the office that has the same ugly outdated knobs will probably get a good spray painting this weekend!! The best thing about this project was that we had all of the supplies on hand so it was FREE!!! Gotta love those free projects!!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Water + Walls = WOOHOO

Yesterday was a VERY exciting day in the Guerin household!!!! The plumbers were here bright and early to start finishing up the plumbing in the basement bathroom. Now I was so excited about this I totally forgot that we would have NO water ALL day as they finished it up... it made my plans of baking many batches of cookies a little bit of an issue as I couldn't clean my dishes... but I still managed to get in 2 batches of cookies!!

The last time they came they put in the drains for everything but needed us to concrete the floors and frame the walls before they could proceed. This time it was installing the hot and cold piping for the shower, toilet and sink. By mid afternoon they were finished and we had water in our bathroom (which is a good thing! haahaa)... which is slightly a key aspect of a bathroom!! This is the plumbing for the sink as well as the electrical for the vanity lights.
To give you a better idea this is the plan. We have an amazing mirror that my grandparents gave us as a wedding gift that I have been saving JUST for this purpose! The vanity lights will go where the arrows are. And underneath we will have either a pedestal sink (which we were given for free) or eventually hopefully I will actually have time to convert a desk we have into an awesome vanity.
Right after the plumbers left Ryan and Dave were hard at work installing the concrete board in parts of the bathroom. We are using concrete board where the tiles will be and drywall for the rest of the walls. The plan is to have about 4 feet of tile running up the walls and the rest of the wall will be painted.
Look at that progress!!!
The boys finished the concrete board in the toilet/sink area of the bathroom. We now have to put concrete board in the entire shower area other than the ceiling. We couldn't do that because we have to fix the framing in the shower. Originally we wanted to do a small bench in the shower but it isn't going to work out so we have to adjust the framing in there and we ran out of wood so that project is on hold till next weekend. You might notice on the right side of the shower door a long piece that isn't covered. That is our radiator, we have left an opening in the walls where we will put a grate so the radiator will heat the bathroom. This was the easier (and cheaper) solution than getting someone in to move the radiator.
Now I LOVE to drywall... I'm pretty good at it too!! Go here for a wonderful picture of me drywalling! But with Ryan and Dave working on the concrete board on the walls there was very little space for me to help out. SO I worked on cleaning up the dust and dirt that had accumulated in the basement. Ryan snapped a wonderful picture of me lifting the lamp wire up with one foot while balancing on the other foot to sweep up the dirt. This is quite a talent when you have a big belly!! haahaa!!!

Anyway that's the great progress we made on the basement bathroom this weekend! We also managed to finish up a few other minor projects but these will come in posts later on this week!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Perfect Stud

This weekend while Ryan and Dave were busy working on the basement bathroom I went about working on my own project... the shelf in the nursery!!

Just to remind you this is what I was working with. Now since we are just using furniture that we already had we had a LOT of space on the upper half of the one wall that was just wasted space. I knew I wanted a shelf up there to store books and toys etc. We need all the storage space we can get because we have no closet for the blueberry and since it is a small room we have VERY limited space for storing baby items.

My brother and sister in law just bought a house over the summer and when we were there helping them with their deck (check that out here) we were rummaging through some things the old owners had left behind. We came across a bag full of these decorative pieces of wood. At the time I had no idea what we would do with them but we grabbed 4 of them. Once I realized I wanted a shelf in the babies room I knew these would work out perfectly and tie in with the tree as they are swirly and fun!

So Saturday I primed them with a spray primer... I used a spray primer only because its the only primer I could find since the guys were working on the basement all of the cans of paint were hidden behind furniture so I resorted to spray primer. It took FOREVER to dry!!! Next time I will not be lazy and get the normal primer!!! That meant that on Saturday I only managed to prime them and paint the first coat of brown. Why brown you may ask?? WELL Ryan and I picked up the shelf wood and opted for the pre-painted MDF for the shelf itself. Now I could have painted the decorative pieces in the same colour as the trim BUT they wouldn't have matched the colour of the shelf and there is no point buying a pre-painted piece of wood and then painting it!!! Then I thought about painting them the same green as the walls but I wanted them to pop out. So I opted for the same brown as the tree to give them some pop and to tie the tree into that side of the wall.

Sunday I finished the second coat of paint on them and cut the shelf down to size. I placed the shelf in place and noticed that since the shelf was so long it sagged in the middle. I had completely expected this. I knew the 2 'decorative' pieces would have to act as supports for the shelf. What I expected the hard part to be was having the 2 middle pieces even across the wall WITH hitting studs because I didn't want to have to rely on drywall plugs to support the shelf as I have no idea how heavy the stuff on the shelf will be. WELL I got lucky!!! I measured the length of the shelf and marked exactly the half way point. My plan was to measure out from the half way point on each side and put the decorative support piece in place. WELL right in the middle of the shelf there was a stud!! I was SO excited!! I managed to get both decorative pieces screwed into a stud, oh it was a happy day for me! Yes I know its not super exciting but honestly I hate it when you have something in mind and its ruined because you can't find a stud... heehee!!! I like to think we have the perfect stud in this room!!. Then I just screwed the other two pieces into the sides as decoration... they have no structural purpose I just think they look nice. And that was it for my shelf!!!

I would like to note that even though the pictures make it seem like everything is crooked it is not... its very hard to take a picture of the entire shelf because the room is so small I had to squish against the wall.

Notice the boxes on the shelf. I bought those 2 boxes at Loblaws for a total of $5. I loved how they had a chalkboard on the front for writing what is in the box! Now I know I could have easily made them but for $5 for 2 boxes I decided to save myself the hassle and just buy them!!

For added storage space I plan on getting some baskets to put on top of the desk on the left in the pictures where I can store the diapers etc. And the space that is between the wall and the change table is where the dirty diaper bin will go, we had to leave the change table that far away from the wall so that you can open the doors and the drawers. This room is just about finished.. I just have to finish up the animal decals, the rad box (which should be done this week) and the owl hole in the tree!!