Friday, April 27, 2018

the upstairs bath

 the upstairs bathroom
became the most urgent thing on the list.

We've only had one bathroom for all but < 3 years
of our married lives 
(almost 31 years!)
it wasn't so much that we needed the second bathroom
right away,
as much as
I wanted my kiddos to not be 
going up and down stairs
half asleep
in the middle of the night.

I breathed a huge sigh of relief when the toilet went in,
let me tell you!

This part wasn't  included in the plan; we put a doorway in the side of the bathroom, and went into the attic.

(Oh. you know what.
that's not exactly true.

When we lived in Fort Smith,
we did have a second toilet.

I don't really count that,
as it was back by the water heater
and the fuse box
in a stall,
in the laundry room/back porch,
and it was only used for emergencies.
and the resident take-for-e-ver-pooper.

back to a real second bathroom.....)

The tub was installed ages ago,
so once we turned on the water
(That was a happy day!)
we could use it,
and use it we have!

I have taken more baths in the past 3 months
than I've taken in the past 12 years combined!

You might remember that I bought the 'vanity'
and it sat patiently in the attic,
waiting for its turn
at the top of the list.

By the time it hit 
'top of the list'
I was pretty well exhausted.
As I mentioned,
we'd just finished the kitchen enough to be usable,
which also means,
we'd just made 
and finished 
the concrete countertops
(which I have yet to post about. sigh.)

So when Tyler asked me about paint for the vanity,
I said,
"I don't know. I'm thinking about using it as is."

I'll wait while you laugh.

From the photo I sent to Tyler when I found the crendza-vanity
(which is the only real before picture we have
because I can not seem to remember to snap pictures
before we start taking things apart!)
you might think that was a plausible idea.

But that was a glamour shot.

(This is going to be long.
You might want to grab a drink.
and go pee....)
(I have to tell the whole story,
because I got in trouble for leaving out all the good parts
when I shared Jeremiah's bed re-make,
but Tyler will be thrilled to tell you them in person)

In addition 
- and more importantly -
to the piece being a bit beat up
the credenza wasn't the right size.

We could have made it work,
except that,
instead of buying a sink,
we bought a one piece custom counter-top with an integrated sink.

it wasn't custom for us.
It was custom for somebody else,
and they didn't want it.

Which is how we ended up with a $600 sink and countertop
for the low low price
of not much more 
than the price

We knew when we purchased this countertop /sink
that it was both too long
and too deep.

But we'd done some quick research in the store,
and determined the material could be cut
by an experienced do-it-your-selfer.

We are very experienced do it your selfers,
so we bought it.

It, too, sat in the attic
awaiting its day in the sun.

Because I was 
too tired to work on yet another project
thinking of leaving it ugly,
I suggested that we bring both the cabinet
and the countertop/sink into the bathroom
and see exactly what we had to work with
and hopefully discover that 
the vanity was fabulous as is.

We did not discover that the vanity was fabulous
as is.

We discovered that it was 
at minimum
an inch too narrow.

It also stunk.

And pretty much everything inside of it
was crap.

So we drug everything down the stairs,
and outside.

I think this was the point where Brandon suggested
that we should have a youtube channel,
because we could get rich off of our re-making escapades,
and people could learn how to turn their vintage finds
into modern usable works of art.
(I may have added that last little bit.
what he actually said was
something along the lines of
"it's a waste of all of our efforts 
for us to be the only one to benefit
from them.")

Mercy this is getting long.
And I haven't even really started yet.

We ended up having to take the back off,
remove a portion of the frame,
and add thicker partial back pieces
along with supports for the counterop
because the back 'bones' of the cabinet
were smack under the faucet holes
(which were not perfectly lined up,
and were maybe why the client didn't want the countertop??)

We had to extend the depth 1 1/8 inches,
which meant adding a new left side,
and borrowing part of the right side's leg and trim
to extend the left side's.

We added a new bottom to the cabinet,
removed the half shelf,

and removed the drawer from the face of the center drawer
and nailed the face back in place.

(I say we,
but it was actually mostly Tyler and Brandon doing the work 
on this one,
with me playing a supporting
(and bossing)

We cut the back and both sides of the countertop,
(which did not go smoothly at all!)

Once all that was finished
and we knew it all fit properly,
and we'd thoroughly sanded everything

Tyler sprayed primer on it
and we left it to dry for the night.

The 1/4 inch oak plywood that we used on the side
still showed all that oak texture,
so Tyler smeared wood filler all over the whole side,
and made it nice and smooth.

When that was dry and lightly sanded
he painted with two coats of

I liked the knobs and pulls just fine,
so instead of replacing them,
I scratched 'em up with sandpaper
then spray painted with Rustoleum oil rubbed bronze
before screwing them all back in.

I let the guys handle installing everything else.

After the vanity and associated plumbing went in,
Tyler added the door and floor trim,
and then the toilet
(a dual flush jobbie,
because, with 4 kids using it,
we'll save a lot of water with the only pee option!!)

We still need to add a backsplash,
and of course a mirror.

(and some switch and receptacle covers!!)
At some point, we'll add the sliding barn door
to separate the toilet from the rest of the bath,
we've got a second bathroom!!
(With a gorgeous custom vanity....)

(bathrooms are quite difficult to photograph!)

Sunday, April 22, 2018

camping in no man's land

As you might guess from the title,
we went camping.

Where cell signals,
piped or pumped water,
and electricity
do not exist.


You might remember,
last year,
during Spring Break
the guys went on a white water kayaking trip
with my brother, Matt,
and some of his friends,
where they had to carry everything they needed
for the 3 day trip
with them.

I guess you wouldn't remember it,
because it seems I never posted it;

I've been awful about that the past few years.

Last year,
the guys went on a kayaking trip
with Matt,
and Tyler wanted to do a similar,
though less perilous,
and much easier
this year,
with the whole family.
(but Brandon couldn't miss school and work,
so it wasn't the whole family. pooh.)

we made our way out past Harrison,
to a little isolated campground 
on the Buffalo River,
where we spent a nice couple of days
with the place to ourselves
kayaking, reading (only me),
cooking over a fire and by Coleman stoves,
and sitting by the campfire.

It was super cold at night,
so Tyler brought along a little propane heater 
which worked well 
(along with the stacks of sleeping bags and quilts)
to keep us from freezing,
but the day temperatures were fairly pleasant.
Some of the kids even swam,
though it really was waaay too cold for that!

The water was a gorgeous blue-green,
and there were even some spots of sand
along the mostly rocky beach.
The campsite was several feet up and back
from the water, though,
so when at the camp,
you could only catch glimpses of the water
through trees
when standing.

In spite of the cold evenings and nights,
and complete lack of amenities,
it was a nice little trip
and I loved being able to spend time with Matt and Marin,
and of course, Milo,
who now adores his cousins more than ever.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

this and that, on another Thursday

Having a space set up to sew
has been so good for me.

the view sure doesn't hurt anything, either!

I didn't realize quite how badly
I needed one
until I had it,
and found I could breathe again.


I've been keeping up with the BOtheD,
and am slowly amassing a fun little forest
of Christmas trees.

I also finished a major hand-quilting project
and just yesterday
I started on the machine quilting.

About an hour or so later,
I started on the seam ripping, too.
(my straight stitching wasn't terribly straight....)

and so it goes...


Even though I am no longer
 in a constant state of stress,
I feel like I am just really floundering.
At pretty much everything.

I am a day late,
when I think I am a day early.


I did manage to get the taxes filed
before the very last 
last minute, though.

I guess that's something.


photo by Lex'

Lily turned 11 a few weeks ago
and we had an 'invite friends over' party
for the first time in about 15 years.

I admit I wasn't keen on the idea when she asked.
I mean, really?!
We are in the middle of moving
and we are still building the dang house!

She did all of the planning
(because she wanted to)
and most of the making,

here, they are making a helicopter rental hut at Jungle Air.
Tyler and Jeremiah cut a maze through our field that never got mowed a single time last year
so the grass and brush was about 5 ft tall. They hid some little dollar store treasures here and
there in the maze (whistle, compass ring, helicopter things, etc) so it would be more fun.

and it turned out to be a fun little party for everyone.

She invited home schooled friends so we could party
during the afternoon
and not have to take up and evening
or a work day.


Speaking of giving up a work day,
I just found out that there is a quilt show up in NWA
tomorrow and Saturday!
I was about to decide
 that I really don't have time to go;
we've had several obligations on Saturdays recently
(and have more in the coming weeks)
which really cuts into house progress.

office/music room is now finished except for window and top of doorway trim ~ woohoo

Then I thought about how much I enjoy going
(going last year with a friend was especially fun!)
and decided that the benefit of going
would probably outweigh 
whatever work I'd manage to accomplish
by staying home.
So - I'm going!


We went from snow flurries on Saturday
to temperatures in the high 70s yesterday.

Crazy Arkansas weather!

I am loving watching everything green up
before my eyes!


I am also loving having a truly functioning kitchen
right in my house!

Having space to work is a gift.
As is having plenty of light!
Ah - light is so lovely!!
And oh my goodness,
having a dishwasher!!

There is still plenty of work to be done
before the kitchen is finished,
but even unfinished
(and the whole house)
is sooo much better than the old house.


Last week,
the kids and I boxed up a bunch of books
for storage
since it'll still be several months 
before we have somewhere to put them.

They found so many books they wanted to read
that they packed a box to bring in the house
for reading now.
It was as if we went to the public library -
silent house and kids lying about


I have done a little reading myself,
mostly on the Kindle,
when my body isn't up to working.

Interestingly - 
I can finish a book
and not know the name of it!

That would never happen with a physical book!

One book I thoroughly enjoyed
(and do know the name of)
by Natalie Fergie.

At $2.99
that's kinda pricey for an e-book for me,
so I got the free trial
(or something like that)
and before I'd even finished it,
I knew I'd be forking over the three bucks.

It had a bit of a 
Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
feel to it
and it was another book that I didn't want to end.


I discovered (quite by accident)
that there is a fabric line
appropriately called
that was inspired by  the book!

Needless to say,
I want it.