Completed projects:

roof, kitchen, master bedroom, main bathroom (sans shower tile), fireplace, hardwood flooring, windows, office, front entry, stairway

Ongoing projects:

shower surround, dapping/painting woodwork, ensuite vanity/lights/mirror, painting outdoor trim, finishing front entry tile work, interior door painting and hardware, decorating

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A new appreciation for mudders

Vic hung this lovely new drywall up in my kitchen for me to mud. No problem, I've tackled lots of areas in the house and they appeared to turn out just fine. What's one wall, in a nice straight line no less?!?

Not having used tape before, I felt it must be the right way... I think anyway. So I go about my business getting it done.

The next day, it does not look so hot. Puckery like. So I load it with more mud. And the next day, ok, just a little more. Tape puckers more after it dries. I rip the tape out and load it on. Whadda mess. This might work though.

The next day, I think it's ok. So I proceed to coat it with sealer.

And then the next day, I paint.

Well, the next day, although the lovely paint in my kitchen had me saying, "Oh my... it's high end in this house!", the mudding part was not.

Let's just say, I'm outa time. But yesterday, I bought a massive tub of mud and an 8" thing to apply it. I have one last chance to make this right!

I'm a perfectionist at heart, but as I'm getting less anal about all things affiliated with this house every day, I have to give this one last shot.

I don't think I like mudding. At all. But I know that's because I haven't mastered it. Becoming proficient at all things reno takes alot of time and patience. Guess I need a mudding book to join forces with my plumbing and wiring books.

I hope my wall turns out. But if it doesn't, I may be tiling to cover it up sooner than later, always a way out! Plus I have plenty of opportunity to practice downstairs yet. Oy.

Professional mudders or whatever your formal title is called, I salute you!

Striping a simple firetruck is just way way easier... try it sometime! :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A cool ceiling and dinner!

A couple cool things transpired today.

In the kitchen, I needed to come up with a plan to cover up missing ceiling stucco from removed valances. I approached Dan with some funky panels of some sort but I hadn't completely solved the mystery. He grabbed my drawing paper and with a few flicks of his wrist, came up with some MDF fabricated 'rusty' panels complete with rivets. Cool... these will attach along two ceiling walls, against the windows and cupboards.

So for the past two days we have been creating some pretty unique touches for the kitchen. It was a must as this needed to be installed before the cupboards arrive Tues. Dan fitted them in place today while I added rivets (wooden plugs) and a special paint that goes on black but once you add acid, it rusts. Not done with it all yet, but should be tomorrow.

This kinda stuff makes me tick! Thanks Dan, for the added funk that makes me smile everytime I look up!

The 2nd cool thing is how dinner arrived on my doorstep tonite. Allowing renos to take over lately is abit of an understatement so as you can imagine, not a whole lotta home cooking is being accomplished. Elizabeth wanted to help in some way and invited Cody and I for dinner, however when she got a taste of our crazy schedule of late, she brought over a wonderful casserole for us to enjoy! I am telling you, that is the way to renovate! Stay dirty and get served in grand style! It was so delicious! Thanks Elizabeth!!!

It was a productive and very cool day. I'm off to slumberland so I can do it all again tomorrow!

Monday, November 24, 2008

'Rover' approves!

Someone approves of our new kitchen drywall and floor. And here's proof. Today after the floor in the kitchen was put down, Jenna promptly took advantage of it.

Fancy dancy diagonal floor in the kitchen! Drywall on the kitchen wall! We are getting there!

The 12 foot drywall was tucked into place. Ralph and Ron gave Vic a helping hand. These sheets were BIG and heavy! Awesome outcome! And ready for me to mud up and paint.

Vic continues to display many talents during this reno phase. Today he moved and refitted the furnace vent in the kitchen floor in mere minutes just like the big shots do on HGTV. (he was moving way too fast for pics) Little do those outside of Yarrow realize I temporarily have one of those do it all handymen right in my own home, but believe me, I sure know it. And appreciate it. BIG.

Ron worked hard on this crazy floor getting the angle and cuts just so. And the finished product is exquisite! I keep looking back at the floor, just shake my head in bewilderment and repeat, "I LOVE this floor!" every few minutes. This stuff is from Costco and it is incredibly beautiful and ohhhh so nice on the feet! (compared to rough plywood especially) But I really do have to emphasise, the quality cutting and fitting is perfect, and I mean dead on. If anyone requires a good hardwood floor layer, I know thee guy to get.

I think it's safe to say that we as a group are getting tired. When a deadline looms ahead, it really does take a team to dot all the i's and cross all the t's. With less than a week for the kitchen to arrive, there's still important details to tend to every day. And I say this with a great deal of pride, that I am immensely proud of all these fine folks and their skills and for also offering their friendship as a bonus. I am seeing the house improve by the hour now and we are sooo close to being near the end! And what better way to go about all this than by the company of friends.

Time for some shuteye. Tomorrow morning will come very shortly again. I can't wait to see tomorrow's transformation. Everyday is like Christmas morning lately.

Thanks again all!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

We are officially 'Open for PLAY business!"

I knew I had to sand drywall today, but I also felt a need to set up Cody's playroom. And with the painting, floors and moulding complete, it was finally time!

But not just for aesthetic reasons.

I've been working so much on the house lately that it's been really nice having friends over for Cody to hang with. But lately with so much ripped apart and piled up high, the last week it just wasn't feasible. There was no room left to play.

And Cody missed it. And I felt bad. So today it was time to find his toys again and get them set up.

The mantra I've tried to instill with his toy collection is, he can keep it if it fits in the bins. If the bins overflow, something has to go.

And honestly, I'm the problem. If I'd gut half his toys when he was at school, he'd never notice. But note I said when he's IN SCHOOL. He can't stand to see something of his go even if he hasn't seen the fantastical object in a year. (sounds familiar...)

But I want the new playroom functional AND attractive, so I was good and accumulated a pretty good sized pile to take to the local thrift.

While emptying and washing out storage toy bins, I had to stop when I went through Cody's Thomas the Tank set. No he doesn't touch it these days. But I remember buying the glorious wooden set with all the trains and cool tracks and how he played with them for nearly 2 years straight without ever just putting them away. We'd attach the tracks creating long long railways linking different rooms together. (yes, we had that much, no-name additional tracks were the way to go!) And the trains Cody actually earned while being potty trained. I admit, it thrilled me when I saw a new train come out and I made an excuse for him to get it! (so I could play with it)

When my mom moved from the farm after dad passed on, it was house gutting time. And that's when we found all the toys we use to play with when kids. Mom hung onto cherished items we loved. Chrissy, Clackers, Footsie, Gumby and Poky, barbies and their country camper, my mint green Easy Bake oven, original Lite Brite, my Disney yellow bus metal lunch kit, and more. It was neat to go through and now it's put away in my house. There is a quiet comfort in holding on to some cherished items from your past.

There were other toys of Cody's that sent me back in time as well, but they didn't hold the memories the Thomas set did. I plan to eventually put Thomas up and out of the way in the attic and just hold on to a little bit of Cody's childhood. One day he'll be thrilled to hold them again, possibly with his own kids. But for now, Thomas is still accessible for any visiting kids just wanting to have some fun.

Aside from my side trip down memory lane, I am proud to say, the playroom looks wonderful! One wall is lined floor to ceiling with pine Ikea storage filled with transparent bins of Lego, cars, etc. The wall unit also houses a TV for Nintendo opportunities. On the opposite wall a twin bed is there waiting to be used for comfy Nintendo play as well as sleepover opportunities. The walls are soft taupe with a nice deep red behind the storage wall only, making the pine pop. Line the floors with hardwood as well as nice thick white moulding, and you have the makings of a room that is really attractive and fun, plus can morph into an office or, well, anything. I'll take pics as soon as the bed is set up right. (truth be told, morelike when I find my camera. Again) I'm on the hunt for a drawer storage of sorts for the mattresses to sit on. Can't waste that valuable under the bed storage!

To the many hands that joined forces touching his room, we sure appreciate you helping to change what was one of the most unattractive rooms in the house (pepto bismal pink walls, yellowed ceiling, with a very worn blue carpet) to one of the most beautiful rooms ever!

I go in that room a zillion times a day just because it's pretty! And Cody suits pretty rooms. I'm glad I can finally give that to him.

Not only is it a cool room, it's time to invite friends over once again! And we BOTH really thank you for that! Zach was over tonite and tried it out and he fully approved so looks like we are once again, open for play biz!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The fireplace story

Once upon a time my fireplace looked like this.

Dan came through the house one day to spec out the progress with the renos in the beginning. He asked me what I felt the focal point was in the house. I figured it was the fireplace. So together we discussed what we could do to really enhance the feature. We were going to cover the brick with cultured stone reaching the ceiling and enhance it with a beefy rustic woodsy mantle.

After several months, it was finally time to flip our dreams into reality for the floors were about to go in the house. A deadline was set and we went to work.
First the mantel was worked on. Dan routered and handcarved the woodgrain effect. I followed with the drill and wirebrush. Bec and I painted 4 layers of paint to achieve a beautiful warm rich woodgrain to tie in with my new kitchen cabinets and hardwood flooring.

Next, Dan and Peter came to deliver the freshly painted mantel and spec out for supports.

The mantel proved to be alot beefier than the last wimpy one, so in order to properly support it, massive unique metal brackets were styled to suit the size of the mantel. Suddenly the mantel was no longer just massive. It looked awesome and to perfect scale with the room!
They also fabricated Dan's signature riveted style enclosure to soften the square opening. This panel is removable at a later date to accomodate upgrading from real wood to gas if desired. Isn't it cool already?!?

Then the real work began. The next day, Dan, Peter and Phoenix started working with the cultured stone to achieve the desired style. First came the fabrication of the framework to hold the rock in place above the mantel.

Once the stone was in place, Phoenix hand carved the base from fiberglass reinforced concrete to simulate a solid rock. It's incredible.

Phoenix then applied an acid treatment to the concrete to achieve a realistic rock replica. He followed it up by lightly airbrushing the colour of the stone on top, allowing the base to remain abit darker to ground the look. It is dead on!

This is what now graces my livingroom. It's a showpiece that everyone stops and stares at. Many go up to the mantle and squint trying to figure out what's this, how's that done... the questions follow and I happily fill them in on the details to this story. (this picture was taken at night so the colours don't pop like they do in daylight.)

I'm incredibly proud to say my friends, the Sawatzky team, created this project. It offers the room such warmth. You truely gravitate towards the fireplace, wanting to sit down and just gaze at it. See? It was used today for just that! Ron the floorlayer helps to portray the scale of the fireplace.

When I look at the new fireplace, my first thought is it's magestic. It's got such a presence in the room and is truely a magnificent focal point. I love the Sawatzky touches to it and the strength the materials and colours portray. It's no cute girly look. It's a funky eclectic bold look that's just flat out awesome! It's the right scale to this house and looks perfect against my rustic decorating tastes.

Many thanks guys, Janis and Bec, and Yarrow Building Supplies for this incredible project I get to enjoy every moment I'm home!

Thurs Nov 20 update



The floors are to die for. Ron worked past suppertime to complete the last bedroom and living room. The quality workmanship alone is incredible. And throw in some gorgeous oak hardwood flooring and you have the makings of one awesome floor.

'Poor tired' Dave was punching up new mouldings as fast as Ron was laying floor. Vic was in and out and doing everything from shopping, to drywall repair, to moving furniture and wood around. I was carrying wood up and scraping the old kitchen floor off the plywood. Cody was trying a little of everything. There was alot of ptchoo ptchooing from two compressors going at the same time, dust kicking up, hammering, scraping, shop vac blaring, Cody taking pictures of (eek) mom... (I'm so brave to post this)

However there's always some time for coffee, silly pics, the dog...

And for those interested, my current kitchen decor is below. It's called EarlyReno. Note the unique bulletin board windows. This simplistic version does it all on one Costco fold out table. (sink is located in the bathtub) Do you like the all modern colour blocking on that one strip of drywall left? Note two garbage cans. The one with the lid is for food scraps so the dog can't get at it. (lesson learned the hard way)

Is everyone else as tired AND having as much fun as I am?!?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Floors have begun! Fireplace is in!

I'm busy collecting my bearings today. Finding my kitchen that resides in boxes only. Hanging up clothes that for a few days have been laying in heaping piles on the couch. Figuring out how to save steps as my sink for the kitchen is now in the bathroom, fridge downstairs and my 'boxes of kitchen' are on the other side of the room from my working tables (counters for now).

This isn't a complaint. It's coming to grips what just transpired yesterday and over the last week. Saturday was a long hard work in progress for everyone that was here. Ron and Jake on the floors (complete in hallway and my bedroom!!), Vic and Ralph on gyproc (and more), Janette on the stairs, a few visitors, Ben on dropping off construction needs, Bonnie offering a delicious lunch for everyone, and dinner for Cody and I on Janette. My apology if I missed anyone.

Cody hasn't been around for much of the reno weekends and yesterday he was. And he loved all the activity and chance to socialize and help with any and all around him. Janette said it perfectly, Cody was like a content cat, fitting in any little corner and being completely happy. I was the filler girl, running for tools, carrying up and unpackaging wood flooring, and whatever else needed doing. Everyone was very busy and pushed to their limits.

Friday, Dan, Phoenix and Peter were here and finished the fireplace and it is DEAD LY AWE SOME! Same day that Ralph and Jake removed the kitchen cupboards as soon as I had them gutted. Wow.

I have a ton of new pics to share. I'll save that for later. Cody needs food (again) and as the kitchen isn't exactly situated in that 'workable triangle' we all strive for, I best get on it before it turns into dinnertime.

Thanks to everyone involved for the amazing transformation you helped create this week. I look around awestruck. Just awestruck. Every one of my aching muscles thank you! I would have been in much worse shape without those many hands helping out to create something beautiful to enjoy.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

On marathon painting, and fireplace progress!

Yesterday and today, Cody has been paying me very fine compliments on my painting. Not sure what's up there but I imagine it had something to do with finally reaching two rooms that mean everything to HIM, his bedroom and playroom. I've been coating out his furniture in black and when he saw it, he just went, "OH WOW mom! I love my table like that! You're a really good painter!" Later today while painting his playroom and he came in and said again, "Mom, you're a good painter. Can I help?" Woa... magic words there. You better believe my boy had a roller in his hands in 3 seconds flat! Be careful what you wish for around here these days.

Yes, painting has been my middle name lately. Every square inch of this house is being touched in some way and that's a whole lotta inches to cover. But wow.. I'm really starting to see things come together. So clean, fresh, bright... this place will truly resemble a new house.

Funny thing happens though when you paint closets. You have to put your clothes somewhere else. Right now they are ALL happily heaped up high under a sheet on top of the couch. Eh.. no time to sit anyway.

Oh, and the playroom. The colour inspiration for my playroom is this picture. I'm tired so I don't remember what I've posted last, but I started painting the playroom the same taupe as the rest of the house, and immediately I could see the fun diminishing. So I picked out some fun today.

I groaned for too long over paint chips and decided that's that and out the door I flew. Don't you love it when the paint store person hands you back your new can of highly desired paint colour and says, "It's only that bright when it's wet." Then as I drove home, I tested the paint dot on the lid against the chip and gulp. So I get it home and realize it's yeah, pretty bright going on wet. Then again anything would be against an all taupe house. I was wanting a brick red. Not orange, not burgundy, just red but not red red. A quiet red. So I decided only on one wall this colour would go, behind the floor to ceiling Ikea toy storage. Yep, that proved to be enough. I'm getting use to it. Cody loves it of course because 'I'm a good painter.'

Dan and son Peter came today and started on the fireplace project. The mantel is in place with funky metal brackets and framework around the opening and it is so cooooool.... here's a glimpse of what was accomplished today. Much more to come tomorrow!

As of now, the living room is not full of cushy chairs and tasteful arrangement of furniture configurations beside a cozy crackling fire. Oh no. It's full of buckets of sand, tools, mixer, bags of mortar, glue and cultured stone. Beside one of the coolest most original emerging fireplaces on earth. Yep, I'm liking my living room fine just the way it is! Cody was so thrilled with the new mantle he wanted to do his homework beside it. (true story!)

Lots going on tomorrow. Dan and Peter will be back on the fireplace again. I'll be gutting the kitchen cabinets as they will start to be dismantled Friday night, and also assisting with fireplace needs where I can. Floors are starting Saturday (eeee!!! I've waited so long for real floors!) so I need to have all the stuff upstairs going down.

Jake was here in the PM for a moment and asked me what I'll do when all the renos are over. My response was, "Sleep."

I think I'll take my own advice and do just that right now. Nighty night!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The 'last two rooms upstairs' dash!

I have been busy.

With the floors potentially going in starting this Saturday, I needed to gut the last two rooms upstairs. That meant emptying, removing carpet and painting.

Removing carpet in this house doesn't generally go easy. No problem cutting the carpet in small sections and roll. No problem in removing all the boards with nails. No problem in rolling up the underlay. The fun is where you have to SCRAPE off the underlay. It's so old and deteriorated, most remains. But this isn't new to me. Every carpet so far in this house has required the same treatment of removal. Let's just say, I'm glad I did the rest of the house 3 years ago because doing two rooms in two days was quite enough.

When I removed the carpet in the main living area awhile back, my jaw dropped. I didn't know what to make out of what was stuck to the plywood. I thought it was mold, so I recovered the works and called in specialized guys that know all about the wonderful world of mold. Luckily they didn't think it was that at all, and told me to go ahead and scrape it off. So I did. And I remember it being oily and greasy. Just like the last two days.

With me being so so busy in those two rooms over this weekend, Cody has been happily playing alot with his buddy Alex. Cody goes there one day, then Alex comes here on another. I'm very grateful that Cody has such a good friend to spend time with.

But I did get Cody to help me with one bedroom yesterday. Apparently the rotten underlay 'made him feel sick', so I got him to drill in the screws into the plywood floors to prep for the hardwood. (I couldn't find my camera) He thought that was fun! But apparently that was very hard work and he needed a break after only a few minutes. Yeah... well... don't we all. I coached him on how everyone is working very hard on this house and his help was needed and appreciated too, so he finished his section. And did a very good job I might add!

When we knew Alex was coming for a visit today, I took a large piece of carpet I had just removed and rolled up, and laid it down in the living room for a cozier cleaner place for the boys to play. (still couldn't find my camera) Cody came in the room and squealed, "It's MY carpet mom! I love it!" and promptly showed his appreciation by dumping his toys in a huge pile right in the middle of it and the two happily played. All that happy from a chunk of old crappy carpet?!? I'll have to remember that happy little tip for future purposes.

So while they played, I tackled Cody's bedroom. He had a hodgepodge of three different furniture pieces in different colours. I painted them all black to match his headboard, so that should make his room come together abit nicer. And NOW is the time. Paint right in the room as is before new floors arrive so I don't have to move the furniture. Doesn't get much easier than that. And I also touched up his walls here and there. Looking good!

The third bedroom is Cody's playroom. This is the room where Ikea is present, with floor to ceiling toy storage in shelves and bins. I called this room the Pepto Bismal room for it's thick deep pink tone when we moved in. The walls will now reveal the same warm fresh shade of taupe as throughout the rest of the house. I may do some colour blocking or funky treatment at a later date, but for now, it's deadline time. And I am delighted to report, painting the ceiling was easy in this room for it use to wear a nasty shade of 'yellowed teeth beige.' White sure looks white! Much better!

There was only one incident today worth reporting. I'm still shaking my head in wonderment on this one. The playroom closet is temporarily holding all my clothes. And naturally, the bifold doors were removed to prepare for the new floors. And here I am painting a ceiling right above the exposed clothes. Honestly, the setup sounds most obvious, but I didn't think of it at the time. I was beating the clock, trying to be ultra productive in between hungry boy requests, so I went about my way.

This massive shelving structure took up the entire width of the room and was pushed in the center so I could paint the walls, so I had to walk WAAAAYYY around it on either end to get to the other side of the room. I loaded my roller to continue the ceiling while walking past the closet and SPLAT. I laughed at first because, well, most of my clothes are paint clothes anyway so what's the diff... until I viewed what was hit.

I don't buy clothes, don't really enjoy the search and find so what I have is kinda valuable as I don't want to have to go to the mall of all places just to do something I don't enjoy. But what got hit, I was already planning a shopping day. It was the only dress I owned. And I had only worn it twice. My sleeveless little black dress that can be worn anywhere, funeral, wedding, meaning, I don't have to shop! But now I do...

Thinking fast, I yanked the dress off the hanger and hightailed it into the kitchen and washed the paint down with warm water thinking, what's the point! What's done is done. I was sloppy and this is the cost. And then I looked down. I couldn't believe it. This fabric was WEIRD. Water was repelling off the dress and the paint was GONE. In seconds. Woa. GONE!

What a picture I was, covered in head to toe paint, and this perfectly pitch black dress I shouldn't have been closer than 10 miles away from didn't have a spot on it. Anywhere. Ok, so I am now in love with 100% polyester and Cloverdale's gel ceiling paint. They do not stick together apparently. Yet another useless tidbit of info I can share with the masses.

After all the painting was done, I found my camera but was too tired to care to report the efforts on film today. Perhaps tomorrow. When I find the batteries. Apparently Wii controls take alot of batteries and anything that housed that appropriate battery size got seized.

So it was a productive last few days with few mishaps luckily. Cody ended up happy which made me feel much less guilty being so busy. The bedrooms will be ready for the weekend. I found my camera and I saved my dress! And Cody and I even escaped to see Madagascar 2. We also went to Dan's to continue the mantel. It was a great weekend!

And the very best outcome of all? I still don't have to go to the mall anytime soon. YES!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The completed bathroom story

I'm happy to report, I'm along enough in this bathroom to do a story on it. First of all, bad looking spacing prevails throughout this writeup. This is a very finicky blog to get it right on and I don't have several hours to tweek today. So here goes my story...

The main bathroom was the only room I had NOT touched one bit since moving in. Anywhere else I've used paint to mask out major ugly, a means of buying time until things could be done right. Not so with this room. It was just so bad, it became a joke of sorts to leave it as is, just how I moved into this house

You could clean this room to death and it would still look this bad. The lino was yellowed beyond original recognition.

The tub had no finish left on the surface. So you couldn't even make it shine any longer. Disheartening when you've scrubbed and scrubbed and nothing shone back in order to thank you for your hard work!

This is no faux finish. The blue is the missing enamel. Mould, untouchable.

The door handle had always been finicky at best. One day it simply fell off and locked me into the bathroom! No one was home to help from the otherside. Luckily I had my cell phone with me at the time and was ready to call for help if need be. But then my cell battery started beeping... not liking to bother others when not absolutely necessary, I started jabbing at the knob all the while my cell phone reminded me this project was a time bomb of sorts. I finally found some makeup gaget that helped me escape my prision. From then on, I left the handle off and taped up anything imaginable over the hole for privacy. Below is an instruction booklet that fell off the door too. LOL This bathroom was simply not cooperating with me here.

I've never liked this room because of the lack of visual space. It housed a massive vanity. I had envisioned pushing out walls at one point when designing this room in my head, but always drove into a dead end of sorts. That is why I left the room for last. I was stumped. I always thought I needed that big vanity back in again, but a nice shiney new one. Boy was I wrong, but I'll get to that in a moment.

Snowball fight anyone? Wonder why no one picked this little gem up by my roadside pile? Very retro, doncha know...

Long and skinny and ugly and I loathed it. The tub is located behind the door on the left.

Before renos started, I was trying to achieve the perfect taupe tone for the room. Ugh.. it was difficult! The room was small and not well lit so everything resembled a cave. I wanted light and airy yet warm. So on I practiced.

The bathroom had a toilet ready to go through a floor, so it did need help. But I honestly thought we wouldn't touch it during this particular renoation phase as there was just so much other stuff to do. One day the Extreme Team lifted up the toilet and fixed the floor and covered the lino with plywood. Then they gutted the tile around the tub and eventually removed the tub. And on it went. It was happening!
So I went tile shopping and started laying tile. This was my first attempt at a pattern and I love it! The tiles are warm rustic tones of taupes and the little black squares will enhance my planned black accents later.

The day my deep deep soaker tub went in was such an exciting day! Cody immediately felt a need to try it out Cody style, so here he is. Perfect fit!

The room took on a life of it's own as time went on. I didn't have the funds for that big ol vanity I thought I rquired so I just resolved to do without for now with no sink. Vic, one of the renovators, had a pedistal sink sitting in his barn. Thinking it would be temporary, once it was put in place, I fell in LOVE with the room! The pedistal is what did the visual trick for me. As I have a large closet in the room already, this is the perfect solution for this room! Add to that a new one piece super flush efficient toilet with one of those seats that lower slowly on it's own, I am in LOVE with this room!

I'm a country girl at heart and love my quirky rustic touches, so tada! A ton of hooks house the opposite wall evolving the room into the perfect changing room as well. Instead of that temporary stool, I now have a taller corner cabinet with shelving in place to place our 'stuff' while getting ready for the day.

Yet to be finished is the tile around the tub. It's full speed ahead for the rest of the house right now but I'll be tackling that one day soon.
The room turned out better than I even imagined. Thanks team, for simply ripping stuff out so I had to follow through with this! And for any and all contributions to create this room I adore. I love by bathroom!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Next up: mantel continues and kitchen cupboard gutting

As my painting upstairs is caught up, now I can move on to..

Gutting the old kitchen cupboards! I was in the middle of packing, labeling and heaving when I stood up to finally take notice of what I just created around me.

More mess.

Ah, no big deal. It's only temporary. As my mom would say, this is a CLEAN mess.

In between all the kitchen excitement, I'll be working daily on the mantel until it's complete. The plan is to get the mantle and cultured stone in before the floors are installed, so on we push!

This is going to be a faux finish to recreate whatever toned wood grain is preferred. First the base coat goes on. Then many tones, getting darker as I go along will be added and rubbed off until the desired look is achieved. Bec, who's the most fabulous faux finisher I know, is guiding me with the colours and Dan is giving me pointers on the finishing work. It's pretty accurate to say, I'm in pretty good hands!
Vic snuck in to mud up the new wall that went in yesterday too.

Did I mention lately how much fun I'm actually having too??? This is gonna be an awesome weekend!

Fireplace mantel and updates

When this reno project started, my friend Dan did a walk through upstairs to view the exciting changes. Then he asked me what the focal point in the room was. I figured it was the old brick fireplace. Then the artsy dreams started spinning. Dan's part in this reno is to help me tweak the fireplace into something I only dreamed about!

The idea is to take some cultured stone and cover the brick and carry it up to the ceiling in old world form. No straight lines per say, but gently curve it up, adding a gentle curve to the opening overhead as well.

Also, a new mantle would be in order! Dan created this rustic chunky dreamy mantle by means of his router on precision board with added hand carving detail. It is exquisite, whimsical and very original!

I stopped in there knowing the fireplace may be installed before the floors go in. It was time to continue with the mantle. I was delighted to find, it needed more than paint, which is all I had planned to do. It needed tooling as well!

This is a wire brush attachment that fits on a cordless screwdriver. I roughed up the 'wood grain' so the various colours of paint will imbed, adding wonderful realistic wooded detail. Those that know me know how much I LOVE power tools so I was only too happy to kick up major dust (I was covered head to toe in snow). Stay tuned for the mantel continuation! And thanks Dan and Janis, for this extremely cool addition to a house I'm going to LOVE very shortly!


Vic and Jeremy worked on insulation and drywall yesterday. They brought it right up to the cupboards in the kitchen. I've been staring at bare wall studs for quite awhile now with plenty of ventilation so this made a huge impact on comfort and visual! It looks so clean!

Vic also helped me paint where I couldn't reach via that tall wall where the stairs are. So for those interested, Vic also paints! This guy really does it all.

Many thanks you two!

And I finished painting upstairs! This weekend I hope to box up the kitchen and other stuff and move it downstairs so I'll take a picture when the junk is out of the way.

Thursday proved to be a short school day as the kids got out at 11:30. So Cody had the opportunity to go to Alex's house for the day and then both boys came here at 3pm. I'm so amazed how when you give these two some felts and a dry erase board, they draw for hours! I was concerned where they could possibly play in this mess of a house but they magically stayed put in Cody's clean bedroom and had a blast. I was so pleased for them.

Go go go! On we go!!!! This is just way too much fun!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Do not try this at home, kids!

What a fantastic day we've all had today!

I was by my lonesome painting the house all day and got my first coat on. I LOVE it!! This is THEE colour to go alongside hardwood floors. It's called Bamboo Beach, at Cloverdale Paints. I had just given up with my choices and went in there on the weekend and said to my girl there,

"What goes good with this wood?"

"What have you tried that you don't like?"

"I don't want to influence your decision and I don't want to mess you up. I wana start fresh. What would you choose? Cuz that's what I'm bringing home today. The end."

The colour is light, yet warm, and has the perfect slightly golden undertone to it. I didn't like it going on wet. In fact I had a stomach ache while the wall filled up with this this... I don't know. Peach I first thought. I was so use to seeing my rosy taupes. When dry and on all walls, it's no where near peach. It's wonderful. It's perfect! I am so so so so so ecstatic. And onto my 2nd coat later in the week.

Now back to fun stuff. Cody had his school friend Alex over after school today and noticed the drawing I had done on the kitchen floor. So they asked if they could also draw on the floor.

Trust me when I say, I let them know this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to EVER draw on a kitchen floor ever.

And then said ok....

They were delirious with excitement. I was painting while I heard them talking over how funny it was to draw on a floor of all things! They 'started' in this one area...

Just how cute are these two...

And then the artwork started getting really fancy where there was more room. I was in for some highly unique floor details.

Jenna sits here enjoying the incredible new addition to our ever growing renovation process. As I walk around the kitchen, I keep thinking I'm stepping on stuff I shouldn't be, it's very odd to get use to. But every time I make myself walk around an image, I have to smile.

The renos have made a couple of grade 4 boys smile as well today. I'm glad they have a memory that no doubt will last a very long time in their minds. And in mine too!

Thanks for the fabulous new artwork on my kitchen floor, boys! A+!!