Monday, December 17, 2012 0 comments

Happy Holidays....

Things have been busy busy over here and with the holidays and some last minute projects (I'll share later) I haven't had much time to blog.  However, you can still find me on my tumblr here.  Here's wishing you and yours a holiday season blessed with love and peace.  With recent tragic events in our history, let us not forget to count our own blessings, be thankful for what we have, love those around us like there is no tomorrow and pray for those who have suffered the devastating loss of a loved one.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012 1 comments

A life well lived.....

This past weekend I had the pleasure of visiting my grandparents in Upland, CA.  I don't get to see them nearly as often as I would like, but when I do visit, I cherish every moment.  This past trip was no exception.  My grandma is 97 and my grandpa is turning 82 this week.  Their home is a reflection of family members both past and present, mementos from extensive travels to every corner of the earth and a garden that reflects their love and appreciation of nature.  Our family comes from a long line of avid gardeners and I feel fortunate to have grown up gardening.  Their patience, persistence and just plain luck combined with the perfect California climate, has resulted in a lush green landscape full of life.  Included in this landscape are 34 orchids, 4 stag horns, bouganvilla, macadamia tree, fig tree, olive tree, lime tree, lemon tree, tangerine tree, plum tree, grapefruit tree and a thornless blackberry bush that puts out the sweetest blackberries ever.  Other potted beauties round out the mix and a cactus garden finds a home in a dry spot on the side of the house.  Hummingbirds are fierce and protective in these parts and are not shy about getting in your face and whizzing past you in an effort to fend off any intruders trying to invade their little piece of paradise.  Here are a few pictures I took over the weekend. 

This is a staghorn that was purchased at the San Diego fair over 35 years ago.  This is the biggest one of 4 that are in this landscape. 


The garden wasn't the only thing that I was drawn to this visit.  Reading an extensive geneology from my grandpa was fascinating.  A great great (forgot how many greats) family member had written a book in 1928 of all the family history she knew starting in 1797.  Wonderful and scary stories detailing hardships and tragedies along with marriages and births.  Of particular interest was the handmade counterpane from 1828 that is in pristine condition with the colors as strong as they were the day they were dyed.  The story of the counterpane is attached to it and talks about how the flax was grown and processed by the family, the dye made from roots and bark and how this has made it's journey through the family for for the past 184 years. It is a fascinating story and a stunning example of an early American textile.  Another point of interest was the box of arrowheads passed down through the men that date back to the late 1700's-early 1800's.  Wonderful artifacts that bring the written stories about living with the Indians to life.  Looking around the house, there are pictures everywhere showing a timeline of the lives that reside here...

My grandma's baby hat, bracelet, favorite book (cloth) and purse framed in a shadowbox.
Varsity letters, metals, trophy and pipe that belong to my grandpa.
This light has been over the bed I sleep on when I visit and has been there for as long as I remember.  I love this lamp and look forward to seeing it every time I visit.
Well, that was my weekend.  Sometimes you just have to check out of your everday life and go see the people you love and that's what I did.  I don't know how much time they have left here in this life, but this weekend was one that will be remembered and cherished for a lifetime.  To see two people who love each other with all they have and to save a little of that love for me has meant the world to me.  Out of all the treasures I saw this weekend, the best of one all is this....

Friday, September 28, 2012 2 comments

A Before and After Story.....Master Bathroom

OK, so I'm ready to show you the pictures of the Master Bathroom BUT, the shower glass is not in yet. Not that big of a deal but I just want to let you know that yes, there is a frameless shower panel and door on order. So without delay, let me show you a few before shots just to recap.

If you want to read the entire before post, go here.  In a nutshell, this bathroom was gutted down to the slab. Windows were added to bring in some much needed natural light. Plumbing was moved for a toilet/water closet and new plumbing was added for a vintage Kohler cast iron tub and a new shower.  And now for the after......



This is the pull I went with instead of the ones I bought from Anthro.  I've bought these at a thrift store a while back and funny thing is I had just enough for these drawers.  Guess it was meant to be.  I'll use the ones I bought from Anthro on something else.
Cabinet goodies.....I put my bath salts ( they are more like a coarse powder) in the vintage shakers.  They work perfect!
 So, there it is....  the new and improved  Master Bathroom.  I love the way this turned out and  how it feels like a room with all of the furniture pieces.  The doors are awesome in here and really add that special touch that I was looking for.  And Eleanor (the tub)?  She looks fabulous. She fits right in....  So worth the wait.  Remember the industrial light I bought frotm etsy?  It looks great in the center of the room and I'm glad we were able to incorporate it in here.  Recessed lights were put in around the space for general lighting (every light in here is on a dimmer).  The jars chandelier cast a warm and flattering light with no creepy shadows and adds a nice touch to the aesthetics in here. It also creates a great balance to the other lighting.  The one thing I would like to add is an old wood shelf under the mirror by the tub.  I'm keeping an eye out and put the mirror high enough that I have room for it.  One more vintage painting wouldn't hurt either.  That gives me something fun to look for. Once more, a big thank you to my HH who worked so hard and was so gracious to give up many weekends to complete this. This was a big project but the payoff to be able to enjoy this room is worth it.  So, what do you think?  I'd love to hear your thoughts..... 

Saturday, September 8, 2012 0 comments

Master Bathroom Update #3.....

We're on the home stretch!  The grout is curing, the trim is being installed and HH and I are working as fast as we can to get all the details wrapped up.  The plumbers are coming on Tuesday to install all of the fixtures and then the only thing left will be the shower door.  That I am told will take another 2 weeks. I will be stripping the old paint off  an old door we are going to use in the water closet this weekend and get it ready to hang.  I also ordered some frosted glass for the french doors we are using but I don't think I like it.  It's not frosted as I had it in my brain.. I'm going to look at some other solutions.  So ,this is the last update until I reveal.  The cabinet is filling up nicely and I picked up yummy bath produts at Kuhl-Linscomb yesterday.  I really like the Dayna Decker body products and candles so I picked up a few different scents yesterday and can't wait to try them out. I've never been disappointed in her products. So, with that I'll leave you with a few shots of vintage apothecary which is totally inspiring me at the moment.  Have a great weekend.


Friday, August 31, 2012 0 comments

Checking in and checking out....

Hi there!  Just want to check in and wish you all a fabulous weekend.  We will be laying tile in the Master Bathroom this weekend but will also be taking some time to enjoy some good food and family time.  Here's hoping your weekend is just the way you want it. Cheers!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012 0 comments

Milk Paint Furniture..... China Hutch Sneak Peek

So, last weekend I tried milk paint for the first time on a china hutch that I bought for my bathroom. As for the results, I'm really happy with the way it all turned out. I used the driftwood on the back and pitch black on the rest of the cabinet. The only issue I ran into was the paint kept clumping. You have to stir it frequently and well. When I first mixed the paint ( I used warm water per the instructions), the directions say to stir for 2-3 minutes and then let it sit for 10-15 min. Easy enough. After that, I stirred it again really well and then started to apply with a sponge brush. After a short time, it seemed to clump back up so you really have to stir every so often. The finish is very matte and the adhesion is good. I bought the polymer adder for adhesion and added to the paint mix before applying. I did a very rough sand on the cabinet, just enough to dull the shine. After two coats, I lightly distressed it and them applied two coats of Minwax clear satin wipe on poly ( I love that stuff). Keep in mind if you try this, the color will darken up quite a bit with the poly top coat. I knew this and expected it so I was really happy with the results. I put the original hardware on the door but will use different hardware on the drawers.  Not sure if I want to use the pulls from Anthro yet because there's something that's "eh" about it.  Maybe when it gets moved into place in the bathroom it will be clear.  For now, I'll show you the finished piece as is, then I'll show you a pic all done up and pretty.  Here's the before:

And here's the after
A couple things to note:  First, we took the top piece of moulding off and replaced it with a smaller piece lower on the cabinet to make the piece lower.  In the bathroom, this doesn't cover the new window but I wanted as much clearance under the new window as possible.  This is as best as we can get and actually I like it better this way.  Also, there is a little piece of moulding missing on the bottom right door panel that I have ready to go back on.  So when I show you the pic of it all pretty, this will be all fixed.  Well, what do you think?  Painting the back a lighter color really makes the shelves pop and it keeps this piece from being really heavy feeling.  I've got another piece of furniture that I'm going to do in Driftwood so I'll share that with you too when I start that project.  Ciao for now!

Friday, August 24, 2012 2 comments

Milk Paint.....

Have you used milk paint before?  I'm about to use it for the first time this weekend on a big piece of furniture.  I bought three colors: Snow White, Pitch Black and Driftwood.   I'm thinking of starting with the black and diluting it just a little with the snow white so it's not pitch black but more of a faded black.  So, what is this furniture piece you ask?  Well, after debating back and forth about built-ins for our Master Bathroom, I decided that I wanted to keep going with the furniture concept so I bought a china cabinet.  I love that this cabinet has the glass door with wood shelves on the top and drawers and extra storage on the bottom. I have some vintage bath accessories and old bottles that I'll display and I want this piece to have an old apothecary feel.   I found some old looking pulls at Anthropologie last weekend that I am going to use instead of the more traditional pulls that are on it now.  The drawers are slightly bow front and offer plenty of storage for the stuff you need but don't want to see and the sides are perfect for housing the trash bin and taller items. So, I'll be experimenting this weekend trying to give this piece of furniture a new look.  Here's what I'll be working with:

These are the pulls that I got at Anthropologie to replace the ones that you see on the drawers in the pictures.  These were on clearance and are not available on the website anymore so I'm not linking to it. If you like them and live near an Anthro, go there now.

Here's what the milk paint looks like.  I'm excited to see how this comes out. 
Quick update on bathroom progress.  Flooring will be done over Labor Day weekend.  Our schedule has been packed and we've been doing some floor leveling so that's taken some extra time and $.  But, it was necessary to do and it will be worth it in the long run. We're almost there.  I will not show any more pictures until it's done (maybe just one sneakie peek) so you can see the whole thing completed. 
Have a great weekend!


Friday, August 10, 2012 0 comments

An update and other business....

Happy Friday!  Hope your week has been great.  Let me give you a quick update on the status of the bathroom first.  The plumbers have finished the rough in work and we have the green light for tile.  The Sheetrock is still being worked on and should be completed by Tuesday at the latest (fingers crossed for no delays).  I'm still deciding on paint colors but I'm really leaning to the light/white shades for this room to make it as bright as possible without feeling sterile.  Oh, and Eleanor got a little "work" done and looks fabulous. Besides that, I've been thinking of how I want to decorate the bathroom and I've been looking for a few special pieces.  I have an idea of what I want to do but I'll share that later when it becomes more solid. 

In other news, I've been shopping for a client that I am working with through e-design and I've picked up some neat things along the way that I thought I would share.  I bought some great books from a dealer who knows I love old books. Every once in a while, I sit down and read through some of the books I have and realize that reading was the only form of entertainment for many people back when these were published. Although that is not the case today, these books hold a value of unique craftsmanship and literary history. I hope to one day, read every book I own. But for now, I will admire the artistry in the covers and appreciate the journeys they have been on so far.



That's all for now.  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, July 30, 2012 0 comments

Operation Master Bathroom....Update #2

Happy Monday to you!  Ready to start another fabulous week?  Things here have been buzzing with activity and non-activity.  Let me explain.  On my last post, we left off with the sounds of jackhammering and progress being made.  That is until we got to the tub. The plumbers wanted to wait to mark the drain until the faucet and supply lines came in. The space is very tight where the tub is going and there is no room for second guessing.   I totally get that and agreed so as I was tracking the order which of course was late, I was told by the plumber I ordered them from that the supply lines I ordered would not work with my tub.  He said that I would need to order another set of supply lines to make my faucet work.  This was not good news because that would be an additional  3-5 days since this is all special order.  So with several big holes in the floor, the plumbers left and told me to call them when the supply lines came in and they would come back and finish.  The faucet and wrong set of supply lines came in late on Tuesday and the plumbers came out Wednesday to pick up where they left off.  The idea was to move the tub in the bathroom and do a mock up of where everything was going.  Using the wrong supply lines as a guide, the plumbers determined that the distance was short about 1-1.5" or so.  Which is to say we would have to take the water closet wall down and move it over 1-1.5".  This was definitely not the news we wanted to hear. I called the plumber that I ordered the supply lines from and decided that I was going to return the wrong ones and order the correct set and have them sent overnight.  These were actually in stock so I received them the next day. The plumbers came back out on Friday to do our mock up with the new supply lines and everything fits fine where it's supposed to .  That brings us to today, where they are suppose to be finishing up the rough plumbing so we can get on with things.  Want to see pictures of the tub that's causing all of the drama?  Here she is as a before.  I've named her Eleanor. I'm going to wait another week or so before I have her all cleaned up. 

Actually, she doesn't look all that bad for her age but I'll make sure she looks beautiful again. 

Oh, and I took a picture to show you the mosaic tile that I bought for the shower floor.  The colors in this are muted but they pull a lot of the colors that are in the travertine really nicely. 


That's all for now.  Hope you have a wonderful day.

Monday, July 23, 2012 0 comments

Operation Master Bathroom Update.....

Happy Monday friends!  Hope you had a fantastic weekend.  Things have been busy over here and HH has been busting his booty trying to get things framed and ready for the plumbers. The plumbers started today and as I am typing this, they are jack hammering away.  Estimated time for plumbing work is 3 days.  I've ordered all of the fixtures for the tub and the shower faucet and some other odds and ends for plumbing and ventilation and they should all be delivered in the next day or so. After the plumbing is complete, we will put the Sheetrock up on the walls and start the floor. With the water closet wall, the shower wall and the windows in, you can start to see the vision of how this bathroom was designed and I'm loving it. We did have a little snafu with the windows over the weekend and due to factors beyond our control, we were not able to put 3 picture windows in like we wanted.  So that changed the shower wall to being a full height wall rather than the 3/4 wall we were originally going to do. To be honest, I like the full height shower wall better and think it will look nicer when completed.  It also provided us the option to put the shower plumbing on the new shower wall side which we liked better.  Why?  The main reason is if we ever needed to repair the plumbing or add plumbing down the road, that wall will make it much easier to get to.  So, overall it all worked out for the best.  I took some pictures this morning to show you the latest.  Here's where we are in this project:

This is the shower.  It really is amazing how much light these little windows  (13" square) pull in. 

This is just to the right of the shower.  This is where the built in storage will be.

The water closet is where the light is.  The tub will be in between the water closet wall and the shower.  Basically over the hole in the floor.

Here's the table along the wall where the old vanity was. The table is going to stay here and was put here for reference for the plumbers. Can't wait to see this all done. 

One more thing, the mosaic tile that I showed you in my previous post that I wanted for the shower floor was $17 for a 12 x 12 sheet (or square foot) plus freight.  I would need about 20 pieces. I really didn't want to spend that much on the shower floor, so I went  back to Floor and Decor (that's also where I got the travertine) and found a comparable flat stone mosaic for $6.99 a sheet.  Actually, I like this one better because it has the same shades of taupe and cream and white that the travertine has but also has a transparency to it that makes it really neutral.  Not to mention, the price is more in line with what I wanted to spend.  I'll show you pictures of that in my next post.