One of the first things we did was tear out toilets and sinks. Then I drove to the city and spent many hundreds of dollars on new toilets, sinks and bathtub. We installed them over the existing linoleum and against the beat up walls... until spring of 2018 when we bought some new flooring. Hurray.
One of my favourite childhood memories is when my Dad was working on the house & he'd let us draw on the 2x4s before covering them. So fun. This house now has some circa 2018 shopkins paintings.
Chad painted, we added some knotty pine boards (which we white-washed before installing) and I finally got to replacing some trim. We are *very* close to being finished this room. Last thing is that wall of cupboards.
I Now that we're living in the lap of luxury: three kids --> three bedrooms, I thought it was time they had a study desk each. I didn't even look up desks to purchase, but went straight to my hero Ana White's website and decided on the sawhorse storage desk.
We also decided these would be Christmas gifts which (a) is an awesome present as the kids all badly needed more storage space, and frankly they needed more furniture in general for their rooms, and (b) gave me a deadline which I need in order to accomplish ANYTHING in my life.
One of the things we liked best when we bought this house was the two-car-garage-sized heated workshop. It's amazing. It does heat up pretty well, but this is Saskatchewan and so I usually still need a toque and big boots. :)
I bought birch plywood from Home Hardware in 5' by 5' piece for the desk tops, a cheaper plywood for the shelves and base and I applied three layers of clear coat varathane to all. For the front pieces I used beautiful craft paint from a local store and sealed it with varathane. My trusty Kreg's jig got a LOT of use and I just can't imagine how I did anything without it. Highly, highly recommend.
Also, disclaimer, the end-of-days mask may seem a bit much, but I get sick easily and sawdust just kills me every time.
So... countless hours measuring, cutting, sanding, attaching, listening to podcasts and being delivered peppermint flavoured coffee... it was a pretty fabulous holiday time for me!
This was December 2017. The desks have held up really well. They are sturdy, hold a lot of treasures and don't take up too much room.
Our daughter had an old school desk as a bedside table. The desktop is on quite an angle, so she had to do a balancing act to make sure her water didn't slide away... not ideal. We quickly put together a table for her with scraps leftover from last winter's desk project (yet to be blogged about.)
She wanted it painted gold. I couldn't find actual paint so I settled on spray paint. It's okay, but doesn't cover the same way. Here is her rustic but functional bedside table! :)
Our son saved his money for a looong time so that he could get a bunny. Whiskers is a mini lion-head and is very cute. We built him a second storey, and he's very close to being house trained, so he has a lot of room to roam these days.
Chad saw our workshop from a new perspective when he drove down the back alley earlier this year. Let's just say that we weren't welling up with pride.
So, we slapped a couple coats of paint on it, and it's now giving off a much less 'derelict/haunted' vibe. It does need one more coat but that's next-year country.
Again - neighbourhood: you are welcome.
Just enough time for a super quick craft post. Along with working on our very large, very outdated, very needy house, I try to not completely suck as a Mom. I have had this idea pinned for ages, and it just so happens that our back-alley neighbours have an oak tree.
Real bloggers would post this in the fall, when there are lots of acorns around. But.... I've got 15 minutes before work, these photos are awesome... it's something we did from start to finish, so it's getting blogged! Whimsy-love.com has an awesome tutorial that we followed. She's a real blogger who posts instructions and whatnot .....
Here are our super cute acorn necklaces:
Step one: Hunt for acorns
Step two: Wash acorns and take off their hats
Step three: Bake in oven for an hour at 175F (we used parchment paper)
Step four: Find the itty-bittiest drill bit you can, and drill two holes in the hat
Step five: Get the beautiful craft string that you just happen to have on hand (or - in the real world, wheel over to the craft/dollar store while the acorns are in the oven because you realize you have none.) - measure so it'll go over your head - tie it underneath the hat.
Step six: Paint & add faces to the acorn part (measure how far down their little hats go first)
Step seven: Glue gun the neclace part/hat to the head.
Step eight: hit the runway.
This is kinda crazy... when I was in Grade 2 my Dad herniated himself hauling a cast iron bathtub into the bathroom with a rope (and a lot of grit.) To quote a Corb Lund song, Dad used "a lot of his back and a little of his brain!" I totally remember this day; it was scary and exciting. He got that tub in the room and it is still in the house, a gorgeous clawfoot tub. So, my Mom just sent me this picture. Me in my Cabbage Patch Kids t-shirt with my Dad. Fast forward a few decades and here is my daughter, age 8 with her Dad during our bathroom renovation.
Other than the beautiful new window, we have put the new flooring in. The vanity is in place and waiting to be plumbed in, but that is waiting for new sheets of drywall. And ALL of that is waiting for Chad to finish a course that he's taking. So I think we're officially on hold until the new year. That means I have all kinds of time to strip wallpaper, pull staples out of wood floors and try to even out these crazy lathe and plaster walls.
Back to the bathroom floors, though.
We did try to salvage the original flooring, a very rustic 2 inch wide wood that is throughout the second floor. But it was impossible. We tried really hard, but in the end there was just too large of gaps between the wood, which would have been a cesspool of dried pee within a month, I am sure. So we had to lay a new subfloor and we picked up some really nice looking luxury vinyl tile (on sale!). It goes together like lego and can stand up to high humidity areas like a bathroom. So, without further ado, here is the new floor - and my well-tressed assistant. :)
So, as far as I can tell there are rules about blogging, especially for home reno blogging, and they mostly include things like:
- you should actually finish some stuff
- when you finish that stuff you should do a complete-room blog post including before and miracle afters
- all photos should look like an Ansel Adams calendar page, preferably including some super trendy gold accent pieces that you "just happened to find at the thrift store and casually left there."
Well buckle up for NONE of that:
Here is Chad modeling his best outfit and the old window we found in the wall. We decided we should indeed have a window in our shower (Neighbourhood: you are welcome!) and so here's how yesterday afternoon we didn't get the bathroom floor, toilet or vanity installed.
A panda walks into the bar and says, "Bartender, can I have ............................................ a beer?"
The bartender says, "Sure, but why the big pause?"
The panda holds up his two hands and says, "Well that's just the way I am!"
Why the big PAWS in my blog, you may be wondering, dear internet friends and throngs of adoring fans?
Well... I've been gone so long because .... life happened! Much of it not glamorous. !
The move last fall, trying to cute-up this massive house and then driving kids to eighty-five hockey events per month really took its toll, and I just kept getting more and more ill.
I was admitted to the Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon (including time served in a holding-cell type arrangement just off the emergency department - see below) and then followed up with some IV antibiotics at home. My wonderful Mom came and looked after the kids, cooked and cleaned and generally worked her buns off to keep the wheels from falling off here. How lucky I am to have my Mom.
I am better than I was pre-hospital stay, but still not quite "all better." So... the home renovation projects have been slower than we all hoped. But there is some stuff happening around here.
1. My lovely daughter's bed got built. Here she is wearing her new soccer jersey and operating the power drill like a boss.
This is a hybrid of two different Ana White projects. It is far from perfect, and is still not painted ("Just plain wood. No paint," said she; who I think knew it would speed things up a LOT. :)
2. We removed some unsavory carpet from the stairs - happy face!
There was more carpet underneath - sad, sad face.
We ripped out layer one (excavation to be continued at a later date) and did the following:
- fired it out the front door
- shut the front door, left out the back for a one-week Christmas visit
Sometimes being THIS classy is exhausting. p.s. To the neighbourhood: sorry.
3. We bought a new bathtub! Full bathroom post to follow, complete with before and afters, as per the laws of blogging.
4. Chad found and removed a massive wasps nest from beneath the floorboards in our LIVING ROOM, while trying to feed wires through for our TV. No wasps or people were injured ... the nest is gone and we think we've closed off their access from outside. So, sleep tight, don't let the big scary wasp family bite!!
We had a lot of rest and fun over the Christmas holidays. (Read: very little plumbing)
We skated, tobogganed, skiied, played lots of cards and visited with family and friends. So nice to rest up and play. We had lovely weather and lots of snow. It was so nice to get outside after some -45 weather earlier in the month. Also, the wonders of pharmaceutical drugs combined with some heavy napping seem to be battling the lung infection nicely and I feel almost human again.
We did get a couple things done from our very looooong list of house wishes.
1. The downstairs bathroom sink is plumbed in. It is not pretty, but it is operational. And, we are still married! I am a little leery of plumbing jobs. Maybe it goes back to all those times that my Mom made us flee the family home while my Dad crawled around under the sink (or tub or whatever) with the Authentic Plumbers Arse and cursing a blue streak. He was a very creative cusser to being with, but put a soldering iron and copper pipe in front of him and the obsenities were glorious. Seriously - cloud of blue smoke above the house and Mom crying, covering our ears and telling us to run. No guff.
Anyway... the Chad and I managed to get the sink plumbed in. We are going for function over style here, obviously, unless "Trainspotting" is a new bathroom trend that I am not aware of. The idea is to have this bathroom working so we can get at the upstairs bathroom with an overall end game of ramping up the showering / personal hygiene levels.