Monday, August 31, 2009

Bathroom Update, Part I

First off, let me say it is a beautiful morning here because the temperature is a cool 73 degrees. Fall is in the air! I had forgotten just how cool 73 degrees could be. Now, if we only get some rain, then it would be perfect.

Our house was built in 1984. I tore down the wallpaper, textured and painted the walls, replaced the original flooring with tile, replaced the vanity top with Silestone, a vessel sink, and the original faucets with one of brushed nickel. I've been at a stand still since last September. Did I want to repaint this bathroom a red or some other dark color? This bathroom is small, so would it be too dark and close? I made a shower curtain, topped it with a beaded trim valance. It did not work. The bathroom remained blah. Out of desperation, I contacted Layla of The Lettered Cottage, sent her some photos and asked what did she suggest.

As the shows on HGTV do, here is Layla's basic redo suggestion. The red ties to an old leaded glass window hanging in the bathroom window and the brown ties to the mesquite framing around a mirror from my mother's house. The walls can either remain a Swiss Coffee color or be painted white. I'm leaving the walls to last since I hope I will like the existing Swiss Coffee color; but, if not, the walls will be redone in a white: one step at a time around here, live with it for a while to see if I like it.

I spent hours online trying to find some brown trim. There is not much out there in brown. However, I stopped by a really cool shop here in Dripping Springs, Cowgirls & Lace, and found this wonderful trim. It was the only solid brown trim in the shop, and it was the last on a roll. I needed 6 2/3 yards; the roll had 6 3/4 yards. Is that luck or not?!

The trim is basted on the shower curtain for the time being. I haven't decided whether or not to use fabric glue or the sewing machine. Since the curtain is to be in the bathroom, I'll probably use the machine to attach the trim.

I did not get the matching Sileston back splash because I want to do fused glass tiles. Pay no attention to the color, but I have been working on a 4 x 6 tile design. It is a matter of will I be able to do in glass what I can design on the computer? BTW, those switch plates have got to go. :D

This is the plain Jane vanity cabinet. I'm going to add some legs at the bottom to give the illusion it is a piece of furniture, paint it, and add new handles.

This is the cabinet over the commode. The redo photo shows the door off. I can tell you that there is going to be some big time reorganizing for me to remove the door. :D Every inch of cabinet space is spoken for in this house.

I picked up some paint samples at Home Depot the other day. Behr Paints has a Premium Plus which is a combination primer and paint. The samples come in a flat gloss; but, of course, the paint comes in eggshell, satin, and high gloss. I'm thinking I will do the middle color in a satin gloss because if I do not like it, I can easily go darker.

I had company when taking the photos last night. Nasty little creature, isn't it? I promptly picked up my weapon, the fire place shovel, brushed him to the floor, and dispatched him. You don't want to smash them on the wall; you can never completely get rid of the remains. lol

Today, I'm going to permanently attached the brown trim to the shower curtain, sand the cabinets, tape the wall around the cabinets, remove the cabinet door, fill the hinge holes, and possibly start painting. However, you know what is totally neat about being retired? What isn't done today can easily be done tomorrow or the next day or the day after.

Until next time, God bless.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Straight Out of the Camera Sunday

If you have a photo that is so perfect that it requires no tweaking, post it, then pop over to Murrieta's 365 Straight Out of the Camera Sunday meme. We want to see it.

A glorious August Texas sunrise
I do not get up before sunrise too often these days, but when I see something like this, you ask yourself, " Why not?"

Future bird homes under construction

Until next time, God bless.

Farmer's Market Challenge August 2009 Edition

Judy at "The Road to Here" is on a mission to raise awareness of local farmer's markets and sponsor's the Farmers Market Challenge. Pop over to Judy's to see photos of farmer's markets around the country as well as those in other parts of the world.

Austin Farmer's Market.

Wheat grass or squash blossoms, anyone? If I had known that people buy dried squash blossoms, the $3 item, I would have saved those that kept dropping off my squash plants.

This beef isn't from around here - we have no grass due to the extended drought! :D

Don't these figs look scrumptious?

I came across this roadside stand in Johnson City, Texas on my way to the vet.

Bought the best tomatoes from this stand. It was kind of neat experience in that I needed to go to the bank and only had $3 plus a dollar in change. The tomatoes were $5. I got them for $4.

Don't forget to check out the other markets.

Until next time, God bless.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sky Watch Friday

A Central Texas August sunrise.

Jet leaving a contrail.

A Texas August sunset. :D

Skies from around the world at Skywatch Friday.

Until next time, God bless.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Shade Project Part III

When doing a project, I look for easier ways to do something. Since a second shade was needed, I discovered a tip: drill a hole in the 1 x 2 before covering it. You then can make a hole in the material with a pair of scissors and enlarge with a screw driver before pushing the screw in. It is easier and the hole placement is more accurate.

Prior to covering the 1 x 2 shade mounting board.

The finished product from an angle. I am considering moving the two ties out to the side and adding a third tie. I like this look, though. But, adding a third tie is something to consider.

Full frontal view. I couldn't believe how much a difference this lined shade would make in the utility room temperature. I had a sheer pleated shade on this window ever since we moved into this house 25 years ago. This is a northwest window and the new shade lowers the temperature at least five degrees, possibly more. Needless to say with electricity costs rising there will be a savings, small, but a savings nevertheless, both in heating and cooling.

The first shade for the utility room door.

The next project is the bathroom makeover. I found the perfect brown decorative trim for the shower curtain. I needed 6 2/3 yards and the roll had 6 3/4 yards. Talk about luck! I also have samples of paint for the bathroom cabinets. I plan to start this project sometime this week or the first of next week.

Until next time, God bless.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Fall. . . Fall. . . Cool Weather

Mind over matter is my motto for the day. Even though it was 106 yesterday I'm thinking. . . dreaming. . . of cool, crisp mornings announcing the arrival of Fall.

Let's all put our energies together and we'll soon have cool weather. I promise! And to insure our weather will be cooler, I've changed the background. lol

Until next time, God bless.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Six Screws and Fifty +/- Tools

You will get a big laugh because after all was said and done, I did. In a previous entry, I went through the steps in making one of two shades for the utility room. I shorten the ties and I like the look now. And, read to the end for I have a tip to share.

In preparation for the second shade, the object was to remove a pleated shade and its hardware involving 4 screws and mounting two brackets for the new shade involving 2 screws. Sounds simple, doesn't it?

I needed a step ladder to climb up on the higher bar stool. Just try standing on that bar around the bottom of the stool to climb on top of it! And, yes, yes, I know there is a ton of dust on the drill bit tool box, but it's place is in the barn.

A collection of tools on the washing machine.

Another collection of tools on the window. BTW, are you suppose to dust windows ledges hidden behind a shade? lol

Without writing a book, the problem was trying to find the proper size flat head screw driver to remove the screws in the pleated curtain hardware. Next, find the proper size Phillips screw head to keep from stripping the head of the screw and then getting the screw all the way into the oak window casing. TIP: Stick the screw in a bar of soap so it will screw all the way in.

This is the new bracket and you have my permission to laugh. BTW, after the last screw was done, I took a nap instead of starting on the second shade. As Scarlett O'Hara would say, "I'll think about that tomorrow."

Until next time, God bless.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Straight Out of the Camera Sunday

Murrieta 365 has a weekly Straight Out of the Camera Sunday for those photos that need no tweaking. Cropping is allowed. Pop over to Murrieta 365 to see more photos.

I got up early, early this morning -- way before daylight -- so when the sun rose, I took advantage to water the garden in the early morning hours.

Whatever dined on this cantaloupe during the night has big teeth and this varmint knows when Maggie, the yard protector, is asleep in the house!

Gourd flower. The bees were buzzng around me but all the photos with bees were blurry. It was good to hear the bees since there are some problems with hives disappearing.

One of the three eggplants on this plant. Yippee. Up until this one and the other two, I thought all was lost since the blooms kept dropping off. Finding this eggplant plus two more was a delightful surprise.

Until next time, God bless.

The Shade Project

I assembled the necessary materials and tools for this project in the sun room (an enclosed porch) which is not the biggest area in the house, but it is out of the way, meaning I can leave the mess until the second shade is done.

The shade will be made out of the soft beige twill, lined, and the ties are to be from the two printed materials. I covered the 1 x 2 by stapling the lining to the wood because the twill might be too bulky.

Hard at work. I'm not the best at sewing and put blue tape on the machine for a guide.

Steaming out the wrinkles and pressing the seams.

The finished product. However, I'm thinking the ties are too long and will probably remove 4 to 6 inches by cutting in half. The finished seams will not show since the cut will be on top of the 1 x 2.

One shade down, one to go. However, you know what is disgusting? I saw a shade I like better -- the shade is lined with a contrasting material and instead of ties, decorative buttons and loops are used to change the position. I am sure there is plenty of twill; I don't know what I was thinking because I bought yards and yards. Oh, well, I'll have to think about it. I envy people that know exactly what they want to do before doing it!

Until next time, God bless.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Updating the Bathroom

Several months ago I posted photos of our front bath which is in desperate need of an update. Actually, last September I changed out the old vanity for a Silestone top with a white vessel basin and a brush nickel faucet. We replaced the old flooring with tile in the bathrooms when we pulled up the carpet in the living areas about five years ago. We put down new carpet in the bedrooms about a year after doing the tile - don't like for my feet hit a cold floor when getting out of bed. I've been on a updating mission for five years. Everything is done in steps, i.e., pay cash for the update, save for the next.

When we built the house in 1984, I did a lot of wall paper. To do the update we hired a painter to do the bedrooms, utility room and baths. He was so slick because on the first day he mentioned how good the living area would look in a faux finish. It took 24 hours of my mulling over that thought when I said do it. Down came the wallpaper, up went dry wall texture, primer, and the faux paint treatment. The next step was to change the window treatments - some were done professionally and some I did. I did the headboard for our bedroom by purchasing an iron bed, sanding the rust off, then spraying several coats of an acrylic clear paint. I had a new fireplace mantel made out of some 75 year old, long-leaf pine found stashed, unused, in the rafters of an old barn.

I put Silestone in both bathrooms last year, but did not have a back splash installed in the front bath because I wanted to design and make fused glass tiles. I was not brave enough to take on both bathroom back splashes. But, here it is 11 months later and all I have for a back splash are some slips of paper, 4 x 6, taped to the wall. lol I just couldn't decide what to do in this bath. I posted the photos of the bath because I entered a drawing for a free bath consultation by Layla of The Lettered Cottage. I did not win the drawing so I ordered a bath consultation from Layla anyway. Here is her suggestion:
I bought a white shower curtain. Grrr, it had what looked like a cigarette ash burn right in the middle. I took it back and one is on its way to me. Meantime, I bought a white 84 inch shower curtain liner and hemmed it up a couple of inches so it would not drag in the water at the bottom of the tub. I also bought a new shower rod similar to the one pictured. Tomorrow I go to Home Depot to get samples of the four paint colors Layla suggested for the wall and vanity cabinets. The cabinet below the vanity top and sink is very ordinary so I'm going to get some short table legs to put under the overhang to give the impression that the vanity top is a piece of furniture.

I don't know about you, but I just hope I can live with the door off. I use every inch of the cabinet and closet space in this house. It is so funny because when we finished the house I thought I'd never use all the closet/cabinet space because it was so much more than my house in Houston. Well, removing the door in the bathroom is going to take some very serious organization. The door under the sink will NOT be removed; that is asking too much!

The red over the commode is to tie this window in and I may do red towels or bath mats. I just might have to freshen up the wall paint to a white rather than the exisiting Swiss chocolate white. I envy people that know exactly what they are going to do; mine is more a trial and think about it. I'm still in a quandary on how to design the back splash. That detail will probably be last after everything else is completed. When this bathroom is finished, the update is finished.

I'm also making some soft-tie roman shades for the utility room. I like to have a couple of projects going at the same time so when I get tired of one or stumped over what to do I can go to the other. I bought the material and lining at least a year ago, and luckily, I found some scrap material from other projects to make coordinating ties.

I've had the "dog days of summer" blahs but finally have gotten off my duff to do something constructive. It is about time! :D

Until next time, God bless.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Brenda's Photo Challenge

It is another Brenda's Photo Challenge is week and Charmine of Travel It's Fun is hosting. The theme is "view from above," and this is the best I could do living out here in the Texas hinterlands.

Me standing on a fence panel.

Hop over to Charmine's to see the photos for the Brenda Photo challenge. There are two challenges today so scroll down for the Straight Out of the Camera Sunday challenge. Enjoy.

Until next time, God bless.

Straight Out of the Camera Sunday

This challenge is for those photos that require no tweaking, cropping is allowed. Murrieta 365 hosts this challenge every Sunday. Join in.
Ok, all, I think I've finally used up all the photos from my excursion to the Texas Capitol last Sunday. I know you are probably saying to yourselves, "We hope so." lol I was trying to get a really good shot of the length of the fence; however, hubby was walking ahead, turning around to say, "Hurry up. What is taking you so long,"i.e., pressure! And it is a long walk to Dripping Springs in 100+ degree weather. So, imagine the fence is at least twice as long as shown in this photo. The gold stars are kind of neat, don't ya think?

Don't forget to hop over to Murrieta's for more SOOC Sunday.

Until next time, God bless.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sky Watch Friday

You'll have to admit that I've really milked our trip into Austin this past Sunday for here is another photo from that excursion. :D Our skies have been filled with clouds for a couple of weeks. We've had thundering and lightening along with about 2 or 3 drops of rain. I am happy to report that we finally had a wonderful thunderstorm yesterday afternoon giving us about 1/2 inch in the rain gauge. Praise God!

Shot this one from the car about three weeks ago. Not a cloud in the sky, but plenty of sun.

A July sunset from our yard. Click on the Sky Watch icon at the top or this link to see skies around the world.

Until next time, God bless.

Around Austin

It is so seldom that I go to downtown Austin but took advantage of being there by taking some photos when walking back from the Capitol to where we parked the car.

This building caught my attention when I realized that one corner is unsupported.

I love the architectural details on old churches.

Isn't this entryway exquisite?

This window has my exquisite rating.

Until next time, God bless.